Description: The goal of this project was to improve understanding of the role of the stratosphere in inducing long-term variations of the chemical composition of the troposphere. Changes in stratospheric transport occur on decadel timescales in response to changes in the structure of planetary wave patterns, forced in the troposphere. For many important tracers, such as column amounts of ozone, this variability of the transport leads to changes with signatures very similar to those induced by anthropogenic releases of chemicals into the atmosphere. During this project, a new interactive two-dimensional model of the dynamics, chemistry and radiation of the stratosphere was developed. The model was used to interpret available data of tracers. It was found that a fairly coherent picture of tracer distributions is obtained when a layer of reduced gravity wave drag is assumed for the lower stratosphere. The results suggest that the power of models to predict variability in tracer transport in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere is limited until current theories of gravity wave breaking have been refined.
Date: June 25, 2002
Creator: McElroy, Michael B. & Schneider, Hans R.
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department