~50 years ago, Richard P. Feynman asserted that the reason the atmosphere is colder at higher elevation is because "The ground is heated by the sun, and the re-radiation of heat to the sky comes from water vapor high in the atmosphere; so at high altitudes the air is cold--very cold--whereas lower down it is warm" ~ FLP, Vol II, 9-4, paragraph 2. I'm not even sure what that means, but I believe it is wrong. Mind you, atmospherics was not Feynman's expertise, and the field has advanced considerably since he gave his lectures. He's quite clear that his lecture on electricity in the atmosphere was speculative. So, I'm not trying to take anything away from the worth of the FLP. I know of very little else in the FLP which has been superseded with the ensuing half a century. Besides, that chapter is what led me to hunger for an understanding of the dynamic of the atmosphere. My understanding of what makes the atmosphere colder at higher elevations is that convection currents act as a "heat pump" drawing heat from higher elevations and "squeezing it out" as the pressure increases. I can't recall where I read that, but it was probably somewhere close to James F. Price of the Woods Hole Oceanography Institute.