A suitable nomenclature for atmospheric strata as well as a clear definition of the boundaries is proposed. The necessity of such a new classification is stressed. The atmosphere is divided into an inner and an outer atmosphere; from the latter particles may escape. The inner atmosphere is divided into three spheres—troposphere, stratosphere, and ionosphere—with each sphere in turn being subdivided into 3 or 4 layers. The new classification is based upon the thermal structure of the atmosphere.' Boundaries of each layer are fixed by a sudden change of lapse rate.
The bottom layer, the ground layer, the advection layer, and the tropopause layer are subdivisions of the troposphere. The advantages gained by defining a separate tropopause layer as part of the troposphere are discussed in detail. Its upper boundary is assumed to be situated at 12 km over temperate latitudes. The stratosphere, consisting of an isothermal layer, a warm layer, and an upper mixing layer, extends from 12 to 80 km. The atmosphere between 80 and 800 km is occupied by the ionosphere, the subdivisions of which are the E-layer, the Flayer and the atomic layer. Above that height the exosphere exists.
1 This article is based essentially on our paper: “Die Stockwerke der Atmosphäre,” Meteorol. Zeitschr., vol. 59: 1–7 (1942). However, it has been completely rewritten and changed to a very large extent. We will be pleased if it opens a discussion on this subject.
2 Zentralamt für Wetterdienst (US-Zone), Bad Kissingen, Germany.
3 Geophysical Research Directorate, A. F. Cambridge Research Laboratories, AMC, Cambridge, Mass.