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Stratospheric contraction caused by increasing greenhouse gases

Pisoft, Petr and Sacha, Petr and Polvani, Lorenzo M. and Añel, Juan A. and de la Torre, Laura and Eichinger, Roland and Foelsche, Uli and Huszar, Petr and Jacobi, Christoph and Karlicky, Jan and Kuchar, Ales and Miksovsky, Jiri and Zak, Michal and Rieder, Harald E. (2021) Stratospheric contraction caused by increasing greenhouse gases. Environmental Research Letters, 16 (064038). Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/abfe2b. ISSN 1748-9326.

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Official URL: https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/abfe2b


Rising emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHG) have led to tropospheric warming and stratospheric cooling over recent decades. As a thermodynamic consequence, the troposphere has expanded and the rise of the tropopause, the boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere, has been suggested as one of the most robust fingerprints of anthropogenic climate change. Conversely, at altitudes above ∼55 km (in the mesosphere and thermosphere) observational and modeling evidence indicates a downward shift of the height of pressure levels or decreasing density at fixed altitudes. The layer in between, the stratosphere, has not been studied extensively with respect to changes of its global structure. Here we show that this atmospheric layer has contracted substantially over the last decades, and that the main driver for this are increasing concentrations of GHG. Using data from coupled chemistry-climate models we show that this trend will continue and the mean climatological thickness of the stratosphere will decrease by 1.3 km following representative concentration pathway 6.0 by 2080. We also demonstrate that the stratospheric contraction is not only a response to cooling, as changes in both tropopause and stratopause pressure contribute. Moreover, its short emergence time (less than 15 years) makes it a novel and independent indicator of GHG induced climate change.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/144027/
Document Type:Article
Title:Stratospheric contraction caused by increasing greenhouse gases
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Pisoft, PetrCharles Univ., Prague, CRUNSPECIFIED
Sacha, PetrCharles Univ., Prague, CRUNSPECIFIED
Polvani, Lorenzo M.Columbia University, New York, USAUNSPECIFIED
Añel, Juan A.Universidade de Vigo, Ourense, SpanienUNSPECIFIED
de la Torre, LauraUniv. de Vigo, Ourense, SpanienUNSPECIFIED
Eichinger, RolandDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6872-5700
Foelsche, UliUniversity of Graz, Graz, AustriaUNSPECIFIED
Huszar, PetrCharles Univ., Prague, CRUNSPECIFIED
Jacobi, ChristophInstitute for Meteorology,University Leipzig, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Karlicky, JanCharles Univ., Prague, CRUNSPECIFIED
Kuchar, AlesInstitute for Meteorology, Universität Leipzighttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-3672-6626
Miksovsky, JiriCharles Univ., Prague, CRUNSPECIFIED
Zak, MichalCharles Univ., Prague, CRUNSPECIFIED
Rieder, Harald E.Institute of Meteorology and Climatology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU)UNSPECIFIED
Date:25 May 2021
Journal or Publication Title:Environmental Research Letters
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Publisher:Institute of Physics (IOP) Publishing
Keywords:stratosphere, contraction, ccmi, climate projection, dynamics, greenhouse gases
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Atmospheric and climate research
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Earth System Modelling
Deposited By: Eichinger, Roland
Deposited On:30 Sep 2021 14:56
Last Modified:01 Oct 2021 12:17

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