Evolution of stratospheric temperature in the 20th century

M. Daniel Schwarzkopf, V. Ramaswamy

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20 Scopus citations


We employ a coupled atmosphere-ocean climate model to investigate the evolution of stratospheric temperatures over the twentieth century, forced by the known anthropogenic and natural forcing agents. In the global, annual-mean lower-to-middle stratosphere (∼20-30 km.), simulations produce a sustained, significant cooling by ∼1920, earlier than in any lower atmospheric region, largely resulting from carbon dioxide increases. After 1979, stratospheric ozone decreases reinforce the cooling. Arctic summer cooling attains significance almost as early as the global, annual-mean response. Antarctic responses become significant in summer after ∼1940 and in spring after ∼1990 (below ∼21 km.). The correspondence of simulated and observed stratospheric temperature trends after ∼1960 suggests that the model's stratospheric response is reasonably similar to that of the actual climate. We conclude that these model simulations are useful in explaining stratospheric temperature change over the entire 20th century, and potentially provide early indications of the effects of future atmospheric species changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberL03705
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 16 2008
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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