IUPAC > Gold Book > alphabetical index > T > temperature inversion in atmospheric chemistry


temperature inversion

in atmospheric chemistry
A departure from the normal decrease of temperature with increasing altitude. A temperature inversion may be produced, for example, by the movement of a warm air mass over a cool one. Intense surface inversions may form over the land during nights with clear skies and low winds due to the radiative loss of heat from the surface of the earth. The temperature increases as a function of height in this case. Poor mixing of the pollutants generally occurs below the inversion, since the normal convective process which drives the warmer and lighter air at ground level to higher altitudes is interrupted as the rising air parcels encounter the warmer air above. Temperature inversions near the surface are particularly effective in trapping ground level emissions.
PAC, 1990, 62, 2167 (Glossary of atmospheric chemistry terms (Recommendations 1990)) on page 2197
Interactive Link Maps
First LevelSecond LevelThird Level
Cite as:
IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: http://goldbook.iupac.org (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8. doi:10.1351/goldbook.
Last update: 2014-02-24; version: 2.3.3.
DOI of this term: doi:10.1351/goldbook.T06264.
Original PDF version: http://www.iupac.org/goldbook/T06264.pdf. The PDF version is out of date and is provided for reference purposes only. For some entries, the PDF version may be unavailable.
Current PDF version | Version for print | History of this term