The state of a parcel of air which, if displaced vertically, will return to its original position. Thus, if a parcel of air cools more on rising than the air which surrounds it, it becomes denser than its surroundings and therefore sinks. The atmosphere is absolutely stable when the environmental lapse rate is less than both the dry and saturated adiabatic lapse rates. Atmospheric stability is reinforced by inversions. See Peppier (1988) SWS Miscellaneous Publication 104.
Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.