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What is the average temperature drop per thousand feet of elevation?

Question #129698. Asked by tom_1.
Last updated Feb 24 2013.
Originally posted Feb 24 2013 1:40 PM.

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1nn1 star
Answer has 12 votes
Currently Best Answer
1nn1 star
12 year member
144 replies avatar

Answer has 12 votes.

Currently voted the best answer.
In the lower atmospheric regions (up to altitudes of approximately 40,000 feet or 12 km), temperature decreases with altitude at a pretty uniform rate. Because the atmosphere is warmed by conduction from Earth's surface, this lapse or reduction in temperature is normal with increasing distance.

Although the actual atmospheric lapse rate varies, under normal atmospheric conditions the average atmospheric lapse rate results in a temperature decrease of 3.5°F/1,000 ft (6.4°C/km) of altitude.
link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lapse_rate

Feb 24 2013, 1:58 PM
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mehaul star
Answer has 2 votes
mehaul star
15 year member
477 replies avatar

Answer has 2 votes.
The temperature of the atmosphere actually heats up when you get above the dense gas altitudes. Above the Ionosphere the temps of molecules can vary between 2,000 and 3,000 degrees C.
And even in the lower atmos[here there is a thermal inversion zone where temperatures can go from 0 degrees C to around 35 degrees C in a matter of a few hundred meters. Our atmosphere just doesn't keep getting colder the higher you go.

link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermosphere

Feb 24 2013, 5:32 PM
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