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Consider the way a refrigerator works: a gas (refrigerant) is compressed and it gets hot, this passes through the hot coils at the back of the fridge to cool down. The cool compressed gas is then allowed to expand suddenly through a nozzle in the freezer, and the gas gets very cold, which makes the freezer cold. The gas then returns to the compressor for re-compression and completes the cycle.

Assume you had an insulated floppy balloon of air (as in a gondola balloon) at sea level at 20 degrees centigrade, at the same pressure as the surrounding air. You then carry the big floppy balloon to the top of Everest. The air pressure in the atmosphere decreases the higher you go up because less air is pushing down on you the higher you go up. Because the air pressure is lower, and the air in the balloon expands (it was a very floppy gondola balloon, and can expand freely). As we saw with the refrigerator, when a gas expands, it gets cold! Hence the air in the balloon will be much colder than at sea level, as is all the air around it.

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βˆ™ 2010-10-06 10:29:28
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Q: Why is it colder at high altitudes?
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Related questions

Why ice melts slowly at higher altitudes?

because at high altitudes it's colder than at low altitudes. meaning the higher you go the colder it is.

Why is it possible for a high mountain to be covered by snow?

The high altitudes cause it to be colder.

Does freezing feel colder in high altitudes?

No, though higher altitudes will be at the freezing point more often.

Why there is snow on top of these mountains?

The air gets colder at high altitudes. Sunlight warms the ground, and high altitudes are farther from that warmth.

What kind of climate occurs in high altitude?

Colder climates in higher altitudes.

What happens to water at high altitudes?

At higher altitudes it is colder. The cooler air can't hold the water in gas form so it condenses out as clouds.

What happens to water vapor at high altitudes?

At higher altitudes it is colder. The cooler air can't hold the water in gas form so it condenses out as clouds.

Why is it colder in high altitudes even it is nearer to the sun?

The density of air is less in higher altitudes. Since the dust particles in the air absorbs the light ,we feel heat .

Does milk sour faster in high altitudes?

NO!!!! t5he higher you got the colder it gets, so it preserves the milk

What happens to temperature as you move to higher altitudes?

As you move higher into the atmosphere, the temperature gets colder and colder. At some point it is hard to breath and if you're up there to high, you need to come down for oxygen.

Cirrus clouds appear at low to high altitudes?

just high altitudes

Why does it snow more in mountaintops then in lower altitudes?

It is cold at very high elevations. Most rain originates as snow at high elevation, which then melts before reaching the ground.

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