A departure from the normal decrease of temperature with increasing altitude. A temperature
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
ground level emissions.
PAC, 1990, 62, 2167
(Glossary of atmospheric chemistry terms (Recommendations 1990))
on page 2197
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. https://doi.org/10.1351/goldbook