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The climate impact of past changes in halocarbons and CO2in the tropical UTLS region

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McLandress, C., Shepherd, T. G., Reader, M. C., Plummer, D. A. and Shine, K. P. (2014) The climate impact of past changes in halocarbons and CO2in the tropical UTLS region. Journal of Climate, 27 (23). pp. 8646-8660. ISSN 1520-0442

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00232.1

Abstract/Summary

A chemistry-climate model coupled to an ocean model is used to compare the climate impact of past (1960-2010) changes in concentrations of halocarbons with those of CO2 in the tropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. The halocarbon contribution to both upper troposphere warming and the associated increase in lower stratospheric upwelling is about 40% as large as that due to CO2. Trends in cold-point temperature and lower stratosphere water vapor are positive for both halocarbons and CO2, and are of about the same magnitude. Trends in lower stratosphere ozone are negative, due to the increased upwelling. These increases in water vapor and decreases in lower stratosphere ozone feed back on lower stratosphere temperature through radiative cooling. The radiative cooling from ozone is about a factor of two larger than that from water vapor in the vicinity of the cold-point tropopause, while water vapor dominates at heights above 50 hPa. For halocarbons this indirect radiative cooling more than offsets the direct radiative warming, and together with the adiabatic cooling accounts for the lack of a halocarbon-induced warming of the lower stratosphere. For CO2 the indirect cooling from increased water vapor and decreased ozone is of comparable magnitude to the direct warming from CO2 in the vicinity of the cold-point tropopause, and (together with the increased upwelling) lowers the height at which CO2 increases induce stratospheric cooling, thus explaining the relatively weak increase in cold-point temperature due to the CO2 increases.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences > Department of Meteorology
ID Code:37276
Publisher:American Meteorological Society

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