Presumably, temperature is a function of height, so the x-axis should be the height not the temperature, but graphs like this tend to be the norm:

standard atmosphere

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Because height tends to be measured vertically. Also many characteristics vary with temperature so it is the x-axis in many graphs. $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 21, 2020 at 15:34

1 Answer 1


Because it is more intuitive to see altitude on vertical axis.

In many graphs they use the altitude axis, to show different strata of the atmosphere that are naturally graduated vertically.

like this graph.

universal Atmosphere


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