We present distributions of the zonal-mean temperature and static stability in the Venusian atmosphere obtained from Venus Express and Akatsuki radio occultation profiles penetrating down to an altitude of 40 km. At latitudes equatorward of 75°, static stability derived from the observed temperature profiles is consistent with previous in-situ measurements in that there is a low-stability layer at altitudes of 50–58 km and highly and moderately stratified layers above 58 km and below 50 km, respectively. Meanwhile, at latitudes poleward of 75°, a low-stability layer extends down to 42 km, which has been unreported in analyses of previous measurements. The deep low-stability layer in the polar region cannot be explained by vertical convection in the middle/lower cloud layer, and the present result thus introduces new constraints on the dynamics of the sub-cloud atmosphere. The Venusian atmosphere is in striking contrast to the Earth’s troposphere, which generally has a deeper low-stability layer at low latitudes than at mid- and high latitudes.
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