Why does altitude affect air temperature? © Getty Images

Why does altitude affect air temperature?

The higher you rise the less air there is. This has impacts on both the pressure and temperature you experience at high altitudes.

Asked by: Anonymous


Imagine the atmosphere made up of parcels of air: the higher they are, the less strongly they’re compressed by the weight of the overlying atmosphere, and so the bigger their volume can be. Such expansion requires energy, and as the total energy in the parcel of air is fixed, it comes at the expense of thermal energy – thus lowering the temperature.


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