Science Questions

Why are valleys colder than areas that are higher up?

Sun, 1st Nov 2009

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Where do lost socks go?

Question

Aaron Hurwitz asked:

Why are valleys colder than areas that are higher up?

Answer

Okay.  Thereís a secondary effect.  The world is far more complicated than youíd like to think.  That tends to be because cold air falls.  So, the valleys at low places on average are warmer.  But if you got somewhere which is high up and the air can cool down on the tops of mountains, itís then denser around it and it falls downwards and if itís not falling very far it doesnít compress very much, doesnít get very much hotter so you get, locally very cold air is in bottoms of valleys but globally itís warmer low down and colder higher.

Multimedia

Subscribe Free

Related Content

Not working please enable javascript
EPSRC
Powered by UKfast
STFC
Genetics Society
ipDTL