The “Z” in ZIP Code

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Possible Answers:

ZONE.

Last seen on: LA Times Crossword 3 May 21, Monday

Random information on the term “ZONE”:

In mountaineering, the death zone refers to altitudes above a certain point where the pressure of oxygen is insufficient to sustain human life for an extended time span. This point is generally tagged as 8,000 m (26,000 ft, less than 356 millibars of atmospheric pressure). The concept was first conceived in 1953 by Edouard Wyss-Dunant, a Swiss doctor, who called it the lethal zone. All 14 peaks above 8000m in the death zones are located in the Himalaya and Karakoram of Asia.

Many deaths in high-altitude mountaineering have been caused by the effects of the death zone, either directly by loss of vital functions or indirectly by wrong decisions made under stress, or physical weakening leading to accidents. An extended stay above 8,000 metres (26,247 ft) without supplementary oxygen will result in deterioration of bodily functions and death.

The human body functions best at sea level where the atmospheric pressure is 101,325 Pa or 1013.25 millibars (or 1 atm, by definition). The concentration of oxygen (O2) in sea level air is 20.9% so the partial pressure of O2 (PO2) is about 21.2 kPa. In healthyindividuals, this saturates hemoglobin, the oxygen-binding red pigment in red blood cells.

ZONE on Wikipedia