inversion, thermal

Cultural Dictionary

inversion, thermal definition


In meteorology, a situation in which a layer of warm air (an inversion layer) lies over a layer of cool air.

Note: If an inversion occurs over a city, it results in air pollution, because some pollutants, such as smoke or soot, which are usually removed by normal weather processes, are held at the surface by the cool layer. (See smog.)
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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