Troposphere: meaning and temperature

Troposphere: meaning and temperature

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Troposphere it is the name of the layer of the Earth's atmosphere closest to us, the one in which we are immersed and which greatly affects our life. Not just ours, in truth: we tend to have one anthropocentric vision but we humans have immersed ourselves just as they are all plants and all animals which use some of its constituent gases, including oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide and water vapor.

Troposphere: meaning

This atmosphere layer it was ideally outlined because of the temperature gradient which is then reversed if we continue to move away from the Earth. It makes sense to "isolate" it because encompasses 3/4 of the entire gaseous mass in its sphere and almost all the water vapor in the atmosphere.

This layer is where they happen most of the meteorological phenomena because in this area so close to the surface of the planet there is an intense circulation of air masses at the base of the formation of winds, clouds and rains.

Troposphere: etymology

The name "Troposphere" comes from the Greek "τροπος" and it means way, mutation, change. We talked about the circulation of masses of air and this is exactly what we want to describe with the name. The air circulates to restore the thermal equilibrium between the poles and the equator that exists because the solar radiation is not absorbed everywhere on earth evenly.

The sun's rays strike the various points of the earth with one different inclination so they do not cause the same effects at different latitudes, hence the thermal imbalances that cause air currents. It usually happens that it arrives more heat towards the southern hemisphere than towards the northern hemisphere or vice versa, depending on the calendar year.

To compensate, it may happen that in winter there are vertical cold flows in low pressure conditions, from north to south in the northern hemisphere, from south to north in the southern hemisphere. Moving on to the summer, we find some thermal anticyclones which aim to warm the intermediate latitudes from south to north in the northern hemisphere and from north to south in the southern hemisphere.

To better clarify how the general air circulation in the troposphere the antizonal and the zonal one can be distinguished. In the first case, in summer and winter, they are realized dynamic weather conditions, there is less difference between the poles and the equator.

Troposphere and stratosphere

Troposphere e stratosphere are one after the other because the second begins where the first ends with a tropopause in the middle, an area of ​​the earth's atmosphere of discontinuity in which there is a change in thermal gradient. The stratosphere continues up to about 50 km, up to a temperature of -3 degrees Celsius and then leaves room for the stratopause that separates it from the mesosphere.

Troposphere: height

The troposphere has a variable thickness, the average one is 11 km but to describe this layer in a truthful way it is better to say that at the poles it is only 8 km thick while it reaches 16-20 km at the equator.

Troposphere: temperature

It is essential to understand how the temperature varies in the different layers of the atmosphere to understand why they exist and why they are so called. Let's see how it varies the temperature in the troposphere. The main heat source in this layer is the Earth which has absorbed solar radiation, so the temperature drops as we move away.

You get to −50 ° C at 12 km of height with strong irregularities due to the mixing of air of which we have spoken. The average vertical thermal gradient of 6.5 ° C / 1 000 m, in some places, however, the temperature can drop by 10 ° C every 1 000 m.

In general therefore theat temperature it decreases more or less quickly, until the tropopause, where it is about −55 ° C, then the stratosphere begins. However, it is in the troposphere that many of the atmospheric pollutants that we emit remain trapped.

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You may also be interested in:

  • Layers of the earth's atmosphere
  • Thermosphere: what it is
  • Atmospheric pressure: value and how it is measured
  • Ascending current
  • Lithosphere: meaning
  • Weather Nowcasting: What It Is

Video: Atmospheric Structure and Temperature Profile of the Troposphere (June 2022).


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