from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The boundary between the stratosphere and the mesosphere located at an altitude of about 55 kilometers (35 miles) above the earth's surface.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. In the atmosphere, the boundary between the stratosphere and the mesosphere.
The upper boundary of the stratosphere is known as the stratopause, which is marked by a sudden decrease in temperature.
Long also assumed that, like sunlight, most cosmic rays were reflected by the Earth's atmosphere, and that as one rose higher above the Earth, the energy from cosmic rays would grow stronger until they would heat Pat Marsh's balloon hundreds of degrees when it rose above the stratopause.
It extends from the stratopause (about 50 kilometers) to roughly 85 kilometers above the earth's surface.
It's defined by the presence of the ozone layer, with the densest ozone at the lowest part, then it tails off at the stratopause, where the stratosphere ends about 50 kilometers up.
Separating the mesosphere from the stratosphere is a transition zone called the stratopause.
I think I’ve demonstrated that with 1) the thermosphere temperature completely collapsing at night and 2) the stratopause not being as hot as you thought, and 3) thunderstorms transfering energy, there is no problem with earth releasing energy into the upper atmosphere, especially at night.
Temperature generally slows or stops decreasing with height at the tropopause and (by solar heating - ozone layer) eventually starts to increase until reaching the stratopause (in winter at higher latitudes, temperature continues to decrease with height above the tropopause