Variations in Tropopause

Although we hadd mentioned a specific height and temperature for Tropopause in our earlier post they are just indicative values. In this lesson, we would look into the factors which affect the height of Tropopause. In our earlier lessons, we had discussed about Troposphere and Tropopause.


The general temperature of prevailing at a place determines the height of the tropopause. As a general rule, the colder the troposphere, the lower the tropopause. Conversely, in warmer temperatures the tropopause is found at a higher altitude. We can see the extreme examples of this at the poles and the equator. Over the poles, due to cold air, the height of tropopause is 8 KM. At the Equator, due to warm weather, the height of tropopause is at 16 Km.


Since temperature determines the height of tropopause, the height of tropopause is lower in winters and higher in summers even in the same latitude. In addition, the tropopause height is also affected by the surface like land or sea surface.


In weather terms, synoptic situation includes a lot of factors like a combination of pressure pattern, fronts, wind direction and speed. Synoptic situation prevailing at a place also affects the height of Tropopause.


We are aware that above the tropopause, you would find the stratosphere where the temperature increases with height. That means, above 16 KM near the equator and above 8 KM above poles, the temperature starts increasing with height. This also means that the density of air would also reverse beyond the tropopause.

In this lesson, we have seen about the conditions due to which we can see variations in the Tropopause. Let us continue our discussion further in the next post by understanding about the importance of Breaks in Tropopause.