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

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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 Instead, these flashes stayed in the clouds of the first layer, the troposphere. Popular Science, "Rare ‘blue jet’ lightning spotted and photographed from space," 26 Jan. 2021 The polar vortices found in the troposphere are generally much larger than the ones in the stratosphere and usually affect weather down on the ground, chilling our bones here on the planet's surface. Jennifer Leman, Popular Mechanics, "What Is a Polar Vortex? The Frigid Weather Pattern, Explained," 16 Dec. 2020 While jet emissions into the troposphere are quickly washed away to the surface by precipitation, rocket emissions into the stratosphere clean away only slowly. Martin N. Ross, Scientific American, "An Underappreciated Danger of the New Space Age: Global Air Pollution," 6 Nov. 2020 In 2004, scientists at the University of Washington published evidence that Christy and Spencer’s readings of what was purported to be the lower atmosphere — the troposphere — were being polluted by the cooler upper atmosphere, the stratosphere. al, "When Trump’s EPA needed a climate scientist, they called on Alabama’s John Christy," 2 Nov. 2020 This layer of air, the lowest region of the troposphere, is filled with swirling pockets of warm air. Popular Mechanics, "This Is the Single Best Place To Stargaze on Earth," 30 July 2020 The troposphere is relatively chaotic, filled with all kinds of clouds, winds, and weather systems, whereas the stratosphere is relatively calm. Matt Simon, Wired, "The Epic Siberian Journey to Solve a Mass Extinction Mystery," 6 July 2020 World View plans to use a balloon to take tourists to what part of Earth's atmosphere: the stratosphere, the mesosphere, or the troposphere? CNN, "CNN 10 - April 17, 2020," 16 Apr. 2020 Each spring, parcels of stratospheric air gently fell down into the troposphere below, carrying with them a fresh load of carbon 14. Carl Zimmer, The Atlantic, "Nuclear Tests Marked Life on Earth With a Radioactive Spike," 20 Mar. 2020

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.

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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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Cite this Entry

“Troposphere.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2021.

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