The troposphere is the first and lowest layer of the atmosphere of the Earth, and contains 75% of the total mass of the planetary atmosphere, 99% of the total mass of water vapour and aerosols, and is where most weather phenomenon occur. From the planetary surface of the Earth, the average height of the troposphere is 18 km (11 mi; 59,000 ft) in the tropics; 17 km (11 mi; 56,000 ft) in the middle latitudes; and 6 km (3.7 mi; 20,000 ft) in the high latitudes of the polar regions in winter; thus the average height of the troposphere is 13 km (8.1 mi; 43,000 ft).
The term troposphere derives from the Greek words tropos (rotating) and sphaira (sphere) indicating that rotational turbulence mixes the layers of air and so determines the structure and the phenomena of the troposphere. The rotational friction of the troposphere against the planetary surface affects the flow of the air, and so forms the planetary boundary layer (PBL) that varies in height from hundreds of meters up to 2 km (1.2 mi; 6,600 ft). The measures of the PBL vary according to the latitude, the landform, and the time of day when the meteorological measurement is realized. Atop the troposphere is the tropopause, which is the functional atmospheric border that demarcates the troposphere from the stratosphere. As such, because the tropopause is an inversion layer in which air-temperature increases with altitude, the temperature of the troposphere remains constant.