Astrophysics (Index)About

atmospheric temperature profile

(temperature profile, vertical temperature profile)
(the atmosphere's temperature by altitude)

An atmospheric temperature profile (aka vertical temperature profile or just temperature profile) of a world is a function of the temperature of its atmosphere by altitude. A planet's or moon's general temperature profile is of interest in the study of the world. Terminology devised for Earth's atmosphere and its profile is often adapted for other worlds:

The term temperature inversion is used for temperature rising with altitude, and is generally used to describe such phenomena when it occurs within some weather conditions, within the Earth's troposphere. In describing whole atmospheres, temperature inversion is sometimes used to point out the existence of a more permanent layer, like the Earth's stratosphere. In extra-solar planets, one possible cause of such a permanent temperature inversion is an upper atmosphere transparent to most of the planet's black-body radiation but opaque to much of the star's.

Further reading: