ArcticClim

What causes temperature inversions over Arctic?

This issue is still undergoing research. Scientists list many reasons for inversion conditions. The two main reasons they list are as follows.

Radiative imbalance - During the Arctic winter, there is no solar radiation reaching the surface. However, the surface does emit the longwave radiation continuously. This leads to the emission being exceeding the input energy from sun. In such imbalance, the surface radiatively cools down and the atmosphere warms causing inversion.

Warm air advection - For most part of the year, the surface in Arctic is rather cool. The transport of warm air from the midlatitude areas can cause extremely stable layers to be formed.
Note that the subsidence and adiabatic heating of the descending air in Arctic can increase the depth of inversion in both of these cases.

Responsible for this page Abhay Devasthale
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Last updated 11 February 2010
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