Isothermal atmosphere

From Glossary of Meteorology



isothermal atmosphere

(Also called exponential atmosphere.) An idealized atmosphere in hydrostatic equilibrium in which the temperature is constant with height and in which, therefore, the pressure decreases exponentially upward.

In such an atmosphere the thickness between any two heights is given by
ams2001glos-Ie18
where Rd is the gas constant for dry air, Tv the virtual temperature (°K), g the acceleration of gravity, and PA and PB the pressures at the heights zA and zB, respectively. In the isothermal atmosphere there is no finite height at which the pressure vanishes.


Copyright 2022 American Meteorological Society (AMS). For permission to reuse any portion of this work, please contact permissions@ametsoc.org. Any use of material in this work that is determined to be “fair use” under Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act (17 U.S. Code § 107) or that satisfies the conditions specified in Section 108 of the U.S.Copyright Act (17 USC § 108) does not require AMS’s permission. Republication, systematic reproduction, posting in electronic form, such as on a website or in a searchable database, or other uses of this material, except as exempted by the above statement, require written permission or a license from AMS. Additional details are provided in the AMS Copyright Policy statement.