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Encyclopedia > Temperature inversion
Smoke rising in Lochcarron is stopped by an overlying layer of warmer air.

## Normal atmospheric conditions GA_googleFillSlot("encyclopedia_square");

Height (y-axis) vs. Temperature (x-axis) upon normal atmospheric conditions.

Usually, within the lower atmosphere (the troposphere) the air near the surface of the Earth is warmer than the air above it, largely because the atmosphere is heated from below by solar radiation absorbed at the surface. The air is expanded during rising with dry adiabatic lapse rate -10oC/1km lifting. As a result, the upper air is cooler and it is called "adiabatic cooling". Image File history File links Absinkinversion. ... Image File history File links Absinkinversion. ... Cartesian means relating to the French mathematician and philosopher Descartes, who, among other things, worked to merge algebra and Euclidean geometry. ... Cartesian means relating to the French mathematician and philosopher Descartes, who, among other things, worked to merge algebra and Euclidean geometry. ... The Troposphere is the lowermost portion of Earths atmosphere. ... Earth (often referred to as The Earth) is the third planet in the solar system in terms of distance from the Sun, and the fifth in order of size. ... This article covers adiabatic processes in thermodynamics. ...

Hot air, however, rises. This is convection in which the warmer air rises up, to be replaced with cooler air which is then heated. It is this process that leads to cloud building, thermals, and other convection related atmospheric behaviour.

## How inversions occur

Sometimes the gradient is inverted, so that the air gets colder nearer the surface of the Earth: this is a temperature inversion. It can be created by the movement of air masses of different temperature moving over each other. A warm air mass moving over a colder one can "shut off" the convection effects, keeping the cooler air mass trapped below (see capping inversion). It commonly occurs at night: when solar heating ceases, the surface cools by radiation, and cools the immediately overlying atmosphere (see Surface temperature inversion). Over most of Antarctica, there is a near-permanent inversion. A capping inversion is an elevated inversion layer that caps a convective boundary layer. ... Surface Temperature Inversion is a phenomena that describes the difference in ambient temperature as the distance to an objects surface varies. ...

## Subsidence inversion

A temperature inversion that develops aloft as a result of air gradually sinking over a wide area and being warmed by adiabatic compression, usually associated with subtropical high pressure areas. This article covers adiabatic processes in thermodynamics. ... Subtropical (or semitropical) areas are those adjacent to the tropics, usually roughly defined as the ranges 23. ...

## Consequences of an inversion

Winter smoke in Shanghai with a clear border-layer for the vertical air-spread.
Temperature inversion in Bratislava
Casual view from old part of city, Nový Most

This can become a problem in cities where a lot of pollutants exist. Inversion effects occur frequently in cities such as Mumbai, India; Los Angeles, California; and Santiago, Chile. During a severe inversion, trapped air pollutants form a brownish haze that can cause respiratory problems. Mumbai (Marathi: à¤®à¥à¤‚à¤¬à¤ˆ) (pronounced ), formerly known as Bombay, is the capital of the state of Maharashtra, and the most populous city of India, with an estimated population of about 13 million (as of 2006)[1]. Mumbai is located on Salsette Island, off the west coast of Maharashtra. ... Nickname: City of Angels Official website: http://www. ... The snowcapped Andes are a Santiago landmark Santiago (Spanish: ) is Chiles capital and largest city. ...

Sometimes the inversion layer is higher so that the cumulus clouds can condense but then they spread out under the inversion layer. This cuts out sunlight to the ground and prevents new thermals from forming. A period of cloudiness is followed by sunny weather as the clouds disperse. This cycle can occur more than once in a day. Cumulus can also refer to Cumulus Media (also known as Cumulus Broadcasting) A cumulus cloud (Cu) is a cloud belonging to a class characterized by puffs, mounds or towers, with flat bases and tops that often resemble cauliflower. ... This article is about the atmospheric phenomenon. ...

The index of refraction of air decreases as the air temperature increases, a side effect of hotter air being less dense. Normally this results in distant objects being shortened vertically, an effect that is easy to see at sunset (where the sun is "squished" into an oval). In an inversion the normal pattern is reversed, and distant objects are instead stretched out or appear to be above the horizon. This leads to the interesting optical effects of Fata Morgana or mirage. The refractive index (or index of refraction) of a material is the factor by which the phase velocity of electromagnetic radiation is slowed in that material, relative to its velocity in a vacuum. ... A fata Morgana, named after Morgan le Fay, the faery shapeshifting half-sister of King Arthur, is a mirage, an optical phenomenon which results from a temperature inversion. ... A road mirage, a type of inferior mirage A mirage, derived from the Latin mirari, meaning to be astonished, is an optical phenomenon which often occurs naturally. ...

In addition, when an inversion layer is present (for example early in the morning when ground-level air temperatures are cool, and high level air temperatures are warmer), if a sound or explosion occurs at ground level, the sound wave can travel much further than normal- the sound is refracted by the temperature change at the boundary and it undergoes total internal reflection. Much of the sound is thus trapped under the layer and the sound can travel much greater distances than normal. The straw seems to be broken, due to refraction of light as it emerges into the air. ... The larger the angle to the normal, the smaller is the fraction of light transmitted, until the angle when total internal reflection occurs. ...

Results from FactBites:

 Temperature inversion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (695 words) A temperature inversion is a meteorological phenomenon in which air temperature increases with height for some distance above the ground, as opposed to the normal decrease in temperature with height. A temperature inversion that develops aloft as a result of air gradually sinking over a wide area and being warmed by adiabatic compression, usually associated with subtropical high pressure areas. With the ceasing of convection, which is normally present in the atmosphere, a number of phenomena are associated with a temperature inversion.
 NationMaster.com - Encyclopedia: Temperature inversion (1789 words) Surface Temperature Inversion is a phenomena that describes the difference in ambient temperature as the distance to an objects surface varies. Inversions frequently develop at or near the earth's surface during clear, calm nights due to the cooling caused by the earth's radiation. Mixing, caused by the turbulent action of convection, is hampered by an inversion, since the rising air currents are suppressed from moving in the vertical by the stability of the air within the inversion layer.
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