Q:

What happens to the temperature of the atmosphere as the altitude increases?

A:

Depending on the layer of the atmosphere, the temperature can either decrease or increase at rising altitudes. The five layers of the atmosphere, from lowest to highest, are the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the thermosphere and the exosphere.

In the troposphere, temperatures decrease as the altitude increases as it loses heat emitted from the surface of the Earth. In the stratosphere, the temperature increases with increasing altitude as the amount of ozone-absorbing ultraviolet rays increases. In the mesosphere, temperatures decrease as altitude increases and can reach -194 degrees Fahrenheit. By contrast, temperatures in the thermosphere can reach over 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit.

Learn More
Sources:

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How do hurricanes occur?

    A:

    A hurricane is a severe kind of tropical cyclone, which is a low-pressure system with defined wind circulation that occurs over the tropics. During a hurricane, sustained winds reach speeds of 74 mph or higher, while air pressure in the center of the cyclone drops, and the Coriolis force causes these winds to spiral counterclockwise.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is there wind?

    A:

    According to the National Center for Atmospheric Research, wind exists because of the movement of air and the differences in air pressure within the atmosphere. When high-pressure air moves toward low-pressure air, the difference in pressure leads to a faster air current or stronger wind.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why does air cool when it rises through the atmosphere?

    A:

    Air cools when it rises through the atmosphere because as altitude increases, air pressure decreases and allows the individual air molecules to expand away from each other. This expansion leads to a decrease in collisions between air molecules, which then results in less heat energy being transferred between those molecules.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Where do clouds come from?

    A:

    Clouds come from small liquid droplets or frozen crystals of water and float in the atmosphere above the surface of Earth, or any other planet known to have a gas in the atmosphere.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore