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By John P. Rafferty

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S. 8 *Above or below sea level. 5 °C (8 °F) in July. The seasonal variation of temperature and the magnitudes of the differences between the same month in different years and different epochs generally increase toward high latitudes and with distance from the ocean. Temperature Variation with Height There are two main levels where the atmosphere is heated—namely, at Earth’s surface and at the top of the ozone layer (about 50 km, or 30 miles, up) in the stratosphere. Radiation balance shows a net gain at these levels in most cases.

There, the average difference between the day’s highest and lowest temperatures exceeds 23 °C (41 °F) in September and October, when there is less cloudiness than in July. S. S. 8 *Above or below sea level. 5 °C (8 °F) in July. The seasonal variation of temperature and the magnitudes of the differences between the same month in different years and different epochs generally increase toward high latitudes and with distance from the ocean. Temperature Variation with Height There are two main levels where the atmosphere is heated—namely, at Earth’s surface and at the top of the ozone layer (about 50 km, or 30 miles, up) in the stratosphere.

A good example of the effect of a warm current is that of the Gulf Stream in January, which causes a strong east-west gradient in temperatures across the eastern edge of the North American continent. The relative warmth of the Gulf Stream affects air temperatures all the way across the Atlantic, and prevailing westerlies extend the warming effect deep into northern Europe. As a result, January temperatures of Tromsø, Nor. (69°40’ N), for example, average 24 °C (43 °F) above the mean for that latitude.

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