Tuesday, September 11, 2007
From the Greek word "τρέπω" importance to turn or mix. The troposphere is the lowest layer of the atmosphere; it starts at the surface and extends to between 7 km (23,000 ft) at the poles and 17 km (60,000 ft) at the equator, with some distinction due to weather factors. The troposphere has a enormous deal of vertical mixing due to solar heating at the surface. This heating warms air masses, which makes them less intense so they rise. When an air mass raises the force upon it decreases so it expands, doing work against the contrasting pressure of the surrounding air. To do work is to use energy, so the temperature of the air mass decreases. As the temperature decreases, water vapor in the air mass may concentrate or solidify, releasing latent heat that further uplifts the air mass. This process determines the maximum rate of refuse of temperature with height, called the adiabatic lapse rate.
Posted by margh at 11:57 AM