Illustration depicting the effect of temperature lapse on traffic noise distribution. A gradient from cool to warm colors indicates cool air above warmer air. Dotted lines represent the upward trajectory of traffic noise away from houses on both sides of a depicted roadway, signifying reduced noise levels during lapse conditions.

This visual captures the concept of temperature lapse, where cooler air is situated above warmer air, and its influence on traffic noise distribution. A central road, labeled ‘TRAFFIC ON ROAD', has vehicles from which ‘TRAFFIC NOISE' emanates. Unlike inversion conditions, the noise here, demonstrated by the dotted arcs, travels upwards and away from the ground due to the lapse layer. Two sets of houses flanking the road benefit from decreased noise exposure during these lapse conditions. This graphic emphasizes the relevance of atmospheric temperature profiles in the study of environmental noise levels in residential areas.