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

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. This effect, which can be caused by a number of different factors, can lead to pollution such as smog being trapped close to the ground, with possible adverse effects on health. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2048x1280, 388 KB) Summary Rising smoke in Lochcarron forms a ceiling over the valley due to a temperature inversion. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (2048x1280, 388 KB) Summary Rising smoke in Lochcarron forms a ceiling over the valley due to a temperature inversion. ... Lochcarron is a village in the west of the Scottish Highlands. ... A meteorological phenomenon is one of several commonplace or unusual weather events which illuminate and are explained by the principles of meteorology. ... Layers of Atmosphere (NOAA) Air redirects here. ... Victorian London was notorious for its thick smogs, or pea-soupers, a fact that is often recreated to add an air of mystery to a period costume drama. ...

Contents


Normal atmospheric conditions

Height (y-axis) vs. Temperature (x-axis) upon normal atmospheric conditions.
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.
Winter smoke in Shanghai with a clear border-layer for the vertical air-spread.
Temperature inversion in Bratislava
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Temperature inversion in Bratislava
Casual view from old part of city, Nový Most
Casual view from old part of city, Nový Most

With the ceasing of convection, which is normally present in the atmosphere, a number of phenomena are associated with a temperature inversion. The air becomes stiller, hence the air becomes murky because dust and pollutants are no longer lifted from the surface. Image File history File links Sha1993_smog_wkpd. ... Image File history File links Sha1993_smog_wkpd. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1024x712, 107 KB) en: the New Bridge, Bratislava, Slovakia; Temperature inversion; 11 Nov 2005 Author: --Ondrejk 23:33, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC) File links The following pages link to this file: Temperature inversion Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1024x712, 107 KB) en: the New Bridge, Bratislava, Slovakia; Temperature inversion; 11 Nov 2005 Author: --Ondrejk 23:33, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC) File links The following pages link to this file: Temperature inversion Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added... Bratislava (until 1919: Prešporok in Slovak, Pressburg in German and English, Pozsony in Hungarian, Požun in Croatian) is the capital of Slovakia and the countrys largest city, with a population of some 450,000. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (981x350, 123 KB) en: the New Bridge, Slovakia, Bratislava Source: Bratislava official web page, released to public File links The following pages link to this file: Temperature inversion ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (981x350, 123 KB) en: the New Bridge, Slovakia, Bratislava Source: Bratislava official web page, released to public File links The following pages link to this file: Temperature inversion ... The Nový Most (New Bridge; formerly Most SNP - Bridge of the Slovak National Uprising) in Bratislava is a road bridge over the Danube in the capital of Slovakia. ...


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: मुंबई) (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. ...


Similarly, radio (being part of the electromagnetic spectrum, like light) can be redirected by such inversions. This is why it is common to hear radio (and sometimes TV) broadcasts from otherwise impossible distances on foggy nights. The signal, still more than powerful enough to receive even at hundreds or thousands of miles or kilometres, would normally be refracted up and away from the ground-based antenna, but is now refracted back down instead. This phenomenon is called tropospheric ducting, or a tropo duct. Legend: γ = Gamma rays HX = Hard X-rays SX = Soft X-Rays EUV = Extreme ultraviolet NUV = Near ultraviolet Visible light NIR = Near infrared MIR = Moderate infrared FIR = Far infrared Radio waves: EHF = Extremely high frequency (Microwaves) SHF = Super high frequency (Microwaves) UHF = Ultrahigh frequency VHF = Very high frequency HF = High frequency... Sunlight filters through a thin layer of fog on a crisp winter morning in Albuquerque, New Mexico. ... Melbourne skyline at night Night or Nighttime is the period in which the Sun is below the horizon. ... In telecommunication, signalling (or signaling) has the following meanings: The use of signals for controlling communications. ... A mile is any of a number of units of distance, each in the magnitude of 1–10 km. ... A kilometre (American spelling: kilometer), symbol: km is a unit of length in the metric system equal to 1000 metres (from the Greek words χίλια (khilia) = thousand and μέτρο (metro) = count/measure). ... This article refers to refraction in waves. ... A yagi antenna Most simply, an antenna is an electronic component designed to send or receive radio waves. ... A phenomenon (plural: phenomena) is an observable event, especially something special (literally something that can be seen from the Greek word phainomenon = observable). ... The worlds largest antenna system designed for receiving distant 88–108 MHz broadcast FM signals is located in southern Sweden. ... Tropospheric ducting (also known as tropospheric refraction) is a type of radio propagation that tends to happen during periods of stable, anti-cyclonic weather. ...


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. ...


External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Temperature inversion

  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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