Court, Arnold Formerly, Department of Climatology, California State University, Northridge, California.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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The increase of air temperature with height; an atmospheric layer in which the upper portion is warmer than the lower. Such an increase is opposite, or inverse, to the usual decrease of temperature with height, or lapse rate, in the troposphere of about 3.3°F/1000 ft (6.5°C/km) and somewhat less on mountain slopes. However, above the tropopause, temperature increases with height throughout the stratosphere, decreases in the mesosphere, and increases again in the thermosphere. Thus inversion conditions prevail throughout much of the atmosphere much or all of the time, and are not unusual or abnormal. See also: Air temperature; Atmosphere
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