tro·​po·​sphere | \ ˈtrō-pə-ˌsfir How to pronounce troposphere (audio) , ˈträ- \

Definition of troposphere

: the lowest densest part of the earth's atmosphere in which most weather changes occur and temperature generally decreases rapidly with altitude and which extends from the earth's surface to the bottom of the stratosphere at about 7 miles (11 kilometers) high

Other Words from troposphere

tropospheric \ ˌtrō-​pə-​ˈsfir-​ik How to pronounce troposphere (audio) , ˌträ-​ , -​ˈsfer-​ \ adjective

Examples of troposphere in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In contrast, temperatures in Neptune’s troposphere — the even-colder weather layer — showed no significant variability while reaching as low as minus 370 F (minus 223 C). NBC News, 11 Apr. 2022 In this pattern, cold air high in the troposphere, on the west side of the trough, converges and sinks. Los Angeles Times, 12 Mar. 2022 Plumes happily rise into the troposphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere and the bit that contains most of the world’s weather. Robin Andrews, Wired, 20 Jan. 2022 Thunderstorms flatten out at the tropopause, or top of the troposphere, the lowest level of Earth’s atmosphere, since a lid of warm air suppresses continued upward development. Washington Post, 15 Jan. 2022 In a world that warmed 6°C by 2100—an increase that matches only the most dire, and unlikely, projections of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report—the troposphere would grow 1.5 kilometers in height. Paul Voosen, Science | AAAS, 19 Aug. 2021 Manabe also found that increasing the CO₂ in the atmosphere would increase the temperature of the troposphere, the layer of air closest to Earth’s surface, while lowering the temperature of the stratosphere, the next layer above it. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 21 Oct. 2021 This results in much more active weather in the troposphere and more sluggish weather in the stratosphere. Jon Reisner, Scientific American, 1 Sep. 2021 As a consequence, smoke in the stratosphere can last for months to years while that in the troposphere rains out in a week. Jon Reisner, Scientific American, 1 Sep. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'troposphere.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of troposphere

1908, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for troposphere

borrowed from French troposphère, from tropo- tropo- (in sense "change," as the troposphere is where weather changes take place) + -sphère -sphere

Note: The term was introduced, along with stratosphère stratosphere, by the French meteorologist Léon Tesserenc de Bort (1855-1913). Tesserenc de Bort apparently first used them in a paper read to a German meteorological society in Hamburg on September 30, 1908 ("La division de l'atmosphère en troposphère et stratosphère d'après les résultats de l'exploration de la haute atmosphère"). The paper was not subsequently published but is briefly summarized by C. Kassner in "Bericht über die elfte allgemeine Versammlung und Feier des 25-jährigen Bestehens der Deutschen Meteorologischen Gesellschaft zu Hamburg am 28. bis 30. September 1908," Meteorologische Zeitschrift, Band 26, Heft 1 (Januar, 1909), p. 6.

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The first known use of troposphere was in 1908

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Last Updated

24 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Troposphere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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