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temperature inversion

A condition of the lower part of the atmosphere in which the temperature increases with increase in height above the surface. Normally, temperature decreases upward through most of the atmosphere, but certain atmospheric disturbances (e.g., a front) can create inversion. The condition also occurs on cold nights. Inversions sometimes aggravate air pollution, as the cooler air trapped near the surface cannot rise and so carry away the pollutants.

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