Is this wrong? If so, how:

Gravity compresses the atmosphere. Gasses under pressure generate heat. Hot air rises. As it does, more cold air descends to be compressed and generate heat.

Heat is continually being generated and dissipated. Because of this the surface temp is higher than it would be if there was no atmosphere.


closed as unclear what you're asking by rob Apr 2 '18 at 23:47

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't know what isn't clear about it. $\endgroup$ – user57649 Apr 3 '18 at 0:13

Gravity compresses the atmosphere.

Because of the influence of gravity, the atmosphere is compressed to a certain extent. The atmosphere is not continually being compressed further.

Gasses under pressure generate heat.

Heat is generated during the compression process. Simply being under pressure (such as sitting in a pressure vessel or at the bottom of the atmosphere) does not generate heat.

The atmosphere does make the surface temperature higher than it would be otherwise (see Greenhouse effect), and when air is moved up and down in the atmosphere, heat is exchanged. But to say that the gravitational compression of the atmosphere increases the surface temperature is incorrect.

  • $\begingroup$ Lower altitude = increased pressure all the way to the surface. $\endgroup$ – user57649 Apr 3 '18 at 0:05

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