The portion of the atmosphere, closest to the surface of the earth and up to a height of approximately 10 to 20km (averaging 9 km in high latitudes to 16 km in the tropics), where all weather phenomena take place.

This region has a more or less regular decrease of air temperature with increasing altitude, considerable vertical wind motion, appreciable water vapour, and weather.

Dynamically, the troposphere can be divided into the following layers:

  1. surface boundary layer
  2. Ekamn layer
  3. free atmosphere.

In the troposphere, temperatures generally decrease with height.


Trapping of an electromagnetic wave, in a waveguide action, between two layers of the troposphere, or between a layer of the troposphere and the earth′s surface.

Response Time

The response time of the troposphere is relatively short, from days to weeks.

The response time of the strongly coupled surface-troposphere system is slow compared to that of the upper troposphere or stratosphere, as it is mainly determined by the oceans.

See also: Earth, Ionosphere, Stratosphere, Tropopause, Tropospheric Ducting, Tropospheric Scatter.

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Subjects: Meteorology Physics