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Cold air and high altitude

Asked by: 1039 views Aerodynamics

hi guys.

warm air is less dense than cool air.

in the troposphere, as altitude is more increased, temperature is gradually decreased.

high altitude has cool air(low temperature?)

should it be more dense in higher altitude than lower altitude?

1 Answers

  1. Best Answer


    Bill Trussell on Mar 12, 2013

    So you have several things going on in this line of thinking.

    First, temperature does decrease with an increase in altitude. This is due largely to the increased separation between the air and the surface of the earth receiving the sun’s radiation.

    The fact is that the air temperature is lower at higher altitudes.

    What is missing in this discussion is the fact that air, made up of water vapor and other elements including oxygen and nitrogen, is more densely packed at lower altitudes than higher altitudes due in part to the fact that everything piles up on each other impacting or compacting the atmospheric elements at the lower altitudes. Think of being the guy on the bottom of the pile of football players. Who has it better, the guy on the top or the guy on the bottom?

    The theory goes that 2/3 of the atmosphere by weight exists below 18,000 feet. If it were any different we would possibly be crushed by the weight of our own atmosphere.

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