2 Examples Of How Climate Change Affected Life Of Animals Barometric Pressure and How It Affects Animals

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Barometric Pressure and How It Affects Animals

Barometric pressure has a direct effect on life around us. The amount of atmospheric pressure is constantly changing, and sudden changes can create health problems such as migraines in humans, to affecting animal behavior. Barometric pressure is a highly searched term that reaches about 201,000 times per month on average within the United States and reaches over 300,000 searches spelling barometric pressure.

Barometric pressure measures the amount of downward force the atmosphere exerts within a given air column. Barometric pressure travels in the direction of peaks, plateaus and valleys and will rise and fall accordingly. Atmospheric pressure is a key tool for predicting the weather 12 to 24 hours ahead and has an accuracy rate of 70%. Pressure sensors will detect a drop in atmospheric pressure as bad weather approaches. Typically, pressure drops ahead of a weather system and then will rise as the weather system moves away from the area. High pressure usually involves bright, blue, clear days or nights, while periods of normal pressure result in scattered clouds. As the barometric pressure gauge drops, expect increasing clouds and possibly thunderstorms as the barometric pressure continues to drop.

While humans can feel the effects of barometric pressure changes in terms of earaches, dizziness or headaches, animals are also affected by pressure changes. Many animals rely on scent, and scent is highly dependent on atmospheric pressure. When low pressure is in the area, the scent will travel higher and higher in the atmosphere, but as the millibars continue to fall resulting in rain, fog or snow, the scent will hug the ground and last longer. On high pressure days, the smell will disappear quickly.

The general relationship between barometric pressure and changing weather conditions results in changes in animal behavior. Hunters and anglers alike monitor sudden drops in millibars to anticipate an increase in animal movement. This increase in movement can be attributed to animals or fish anticipating bad weather and survival instincts to feed and store energy to survive a period of disturbance associated with prolonged storms.

Hunters, fishermen, and those sensitive to changes in barometric pressure can benefit from monitoring and tracking barometric pressure readings from home weather gauges and stations. There are several types of pressure sensors and monitors that are available in the market. Prices range on eBay from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars for high-end home weather stations that come with a variety of external sensors to measure wind direction, barometric pressure, temperature and humidity. The barometric pressure sensor on many models tracks the last 24 hours of pressure readings allowing the user to determine if the pressure is stable, rising or falling at any given time. The following devices are popular with climate monitoring enthusiasts:

The Honeywell TE923 is a luxury weather station that costs $200 to $300 from Amazon.com and uses external sensors such as a barometric pressure sensor, temperature and humidity sensors, a UV sensor to measure harmful UV levels, and wind sensors and the rain

The MFJ 196RC Deluxe Wireless Atomic Weather Station is available on eBay for just under $200 and also uses external climate sensors to measure and display changes in barometric pressure, wind direction, temperature and humidity.

One of the weaknesses of these types of home weather stations is the difficulty in storing these measurements. All the monitors I’ve seen on eBay and amazon display roughly the same information with the same graphics. While the Honeywell weather station stores 24 hours of atmospheric pressure readings, the MFJ weather station stores 12 to 20 hours of readings. As far as I can tell, these popular models do not write each data point to an external system or its memory for long-term analysis. Don’t let that stop you from exploring or purchasing one of these weather stations as NOAA collects this type of data from all over the country. I believe you can subscribe to their feeds and bring historical and current data for a specific area.

Spending time and money to monitor and track changes in barometric pressure can help determine the type of behavior animals will exhibit. By understanding how rising and falling barometric pressure readings will affect animal behavior, a hunter or fisherman will be able to more effectively strategize how to hunt or fish.

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