Elevation and temperature relationship

Change in the Atmosphere with Altitude | UCAR Center for Science Education

elevation and temperature relationship

Nov 22, As you increase altitude, the air gets increasingly rarer, which leads to a loss of pressure. Temperature is directly proportional to pressure. Temperature changes with altitude. The atmosphere is divided into different layers depending on how temperature changes. Take a look at the graph below to. May 6, Avoid these surprises by knowing how to calculate the temperature loss as you All weather forecasts are referenced to a particular elevation.

As the elevation increases, the temperature drops at an average rate of 3. The temperature at an elevation of 25, feet 7, meters is, on average, 90 F 50 C colder than at sea level, which is why mountain climbers need so much cold-weather gear.

elevation and temperature relationship

Wind, Rain and Snow Warm air is lighter than cold air, so the air at ground level tends to rise, displacing the cold air at higher elevations, which falls. This creates convection currents throughout the troposphere, and they are more predominant at higher elevations, where the air is less dense and can move more freely.

Consequently, winds are stronger at higher elevations.

Understand the relationship between elevation and climate

Colder temperatures at higher elevations also create precipitation, because cold air can't hold as much moisture as warm air. Moisture condenses out of the air as snow and ice, and it falls back to the ground. At lower elevations, where the temperature is warm, it turns to rain, but that doesn't happen at higher elevations where the temperature hasn't risen above freezing.

elevation and temperature relationship

Sciencing Video Vault The Mountain Effect Convection currents caused by the exchange of warm and cold air flow upward along the windward sides of mountain slopes, creating strong eddy currents near the peaks. Water condenses from the air at higher elevations and forms clouds, which often blanket tall peaks and hide them altogether.

Calculate temperature change with elevation | TreeLineBackpacker

Rain and snow fall as the clouds become saturated with moisture. Elevation and Temperature Begin by leading a brief class discussion with the students by asking them if they can think of any cities that are located at different elevations. If students are not familiar with the terminology, it may be useful to compare a mountain and sea level as an example. After they mention several cities, ask them what they think happens to the temperature as elevation increases and decreases.

elevation and temperature relationship

Once they have discussed some responses, ask them to think of a method to prove their hypotheses. This will spark their interest in the subject and get them thinking about the relationship between temperature and elevation.

Atmospheric Pressure and Boiling

Optionally, you can divide the students in pairs or small groups so they can share and discuss their predictions with each other.

Use a wall-size map of Ecuador to show the students the locations in the table or distribute individual maps to each of the students or groups of students. You might mention that Ecuador was selected to serve as the example country to demonstrate the relationship between elevation and temperature because it has many cities with vastly different elevations all located around the same latitude and location.

elevation and temperature relationship

This is very important because students should learn that the only way to confirm the influence that elevation has on temperature is to keep all of the other variables constant. Therefore, any differences in the temperature patterns can be attributed to elevation since it is the only difference in the locations. After locating the cities, ask the students if they can make any predictions about the weather for any of the locations.

You can organize the students in pairs or small groups so they can share and discuss their predictions with each other, however each student should be held responsible for answering each question. This can be play an important part in assisting the students elaborate their thoughts. Since these are real time weather readings, the weather stations for each of the locations may submit the current temperatures to the weather web site at different times during the day, and therefore you should only compare the high temperature readings for today's forecast.

Change in the Atmosphere with Altitude

Analyze the Data The effect that elevation has on temperature can be analyzed by using a scatter plot to graph the two measurements. Scatter plots demonstrate a trend in the data and are similar to line graphs in that they begin by plotting different data points.

However, the difference is that each of the individual points are not connected together with a line but rather a trend line is added where approximately the same number of points occur below the line as above it. The students can either use a spreadsheet program recommended or create a graph to manually plot the points. It is recommended that you do not use the same elevation temperature data and you should mention that a trend line will not cross every point and that they should not connect the dots but rather estimate where the line should fall so that approximately the same number of points below the line as above it.

When explaining what a trend line is, it will be helpful to mention that when most of the data points are on or close to the trend line, this generally means there is a close relationship between the data points. On the other hand, if the data is all over the graph and it is difficult to draw the trend line, this most likely means that there is little correlation between the two variables.

Students should be able to determine the approximate change in temperature for every increase of 1,m in elevation based on the graph.