Meet the atmosphere

If you have ever climbed a mountain, you know that the temperature decreases as you go up (Fig. 5.1). This part of the atmosphere is called the troposphere, and it contains 90% of the air in the atmosphere and all of its weather. If you were Superman and

Temperature (K) Pressure (atm)

Fig. 5.1 Typical temperatures and pressures of the atmosphere as a function of altitude in the tropics.

Temperature (K) Pressure (atm)

Fig. 5.1 Typical temperatures and pressures of the atmosphere as a function of altitude in the tropics.

Pressure (atm)

Fig. 5.2 Pressure increases linearly with depth in water because water is incompressible.

Pressure (atm)

Fig. 5.2 Pressure increases linearly with depth in water because water is incompressible.

could climb high enough, the temperature would reach its coldest point at an altitude called the tropopause, and would begin to rise above that in the stratosphere. Above the stratosphere are wispier layers called the mesosphere and the exosphere which affect the way that ham radio signals propagate around the world, but don't affect our climate story very much.

Explaining the temperature structure of the atmosphere requires weaving together a number of what may seem to be disparate threads. Stick with me and everything will all tie together in the end.

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Solar Panel Basics

Solar Panel Basics

Global warming is a huge problem which will significantly affect every country in the world. Many people all over the world are trying to do whatever they can to help combat the effects of global warming. One of the ways that people can fight global warming is to reduce their dependence on non-renewable energy sources like oil and petroleum based products.

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