Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientists discover global warming linked to increase in tropopause height over past two decades

06.01.2003


Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have discovered another fingerprint of human effects on global climate.



Recent research has shown that increases in the height of the tropopause over the past two decades are directly linked to ozone depletion and increased greenhouse gases.

The tropopause is the transition zone between the lowest layer of the atmosphere -- the turbulently-mixed troposphere -- and the more stable stratosphere. The tropopause lies roughly 10 miles above the Earth’s surface at the equator and five miles above the poles. To date, no scientist has examined whether observed changes in tropopause height are in accord with projections from climate model greenhouse warming experiments.


The comparison was made by Livermore scientists Benjamin Santer, James Boyle, Krishna AchutaRao, Charles Doutriaux and Karl Taylor, along with researchers from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology and the Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre in Germany. Their findings are reported in the today’s (Jan. 3) online edition of the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres.

This research undercuts claims by greenhouse skeptics that no warming has occurred during the last two decades. Such claims are based on satellite measurements of temperatures in the troposphere, which show little or no warming since the beginning of the satellite record in 1979.

"Weather balloons and weather forecast models show that there’s been a pronounced increase in the height of the global tropopause over the last two decades," Santer said. "Our best understanding is that this increase is due to two factors: warming of troposphere, which is caused by increasing greenhouse gases, and cooling of the stratosphere, which is mainly caused by depletion of stratospheric ozone. Tropopause height changes give us independent evidence of the reality of recent warming of the troposphere."

The Livermore research supports the bottom-line conclusion of the 2001 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which states that, "most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations."

Earlier research showed that changes in the Earth’s surface temperature, ocean heat content, and Northern Hemisphere sea ice cover are other indicators of human effects on climate change.

"The climate system is telling us a consistent story -- that humans have had a significant effect on it," Santer said. "We’re seeing detailed correspondence between computer climate models and observations, and this correspondence is in a number of different climate variables. Tropopause height is the latest piece of the climate-change puzzle."

To support the research, Livermore scientists examined tropopause height changes in climate-change experiments using two different computer climate models. Both models showed similar decadal-scale increases in the tropopause height in response to changes in human-caused climate forcings. The patterns of tropopause height change were similar in models and so-called ’reanalysis’ products (a combination of actual observations and results from a weather forecast model).

The model experiments focused on both manmade climate forcings, such as changes in well-mixed greenhouse gases, stratospheric and tropospheric ozone, and on natural forcings, such as changes in volcanic aerosols. The forces have varying effects on atmospheric temperature, that in turn affect tropopause height, the report concludes.


Founded in 1952, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a national security laboratory, with a mission to ensure national security and apply science and technology to the important issues of our time. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is managed by the University of California for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.

Anne Stark | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.llnl.gov/

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Tracking the amount of sea ice from the Greenland ice sheet
28.09.2016 | Ca' Foscari University of Venice

nachricht A perfect sun-storm
28.09.2016 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New welding process joins dissimilar sheets better

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of light metals.
Scientists at the University of Stuttgart have now developed two new process variants that will considerably expand the areas of application for friction stir welding.
Technologie-Lizenz-Büro (TLB) GmbH supports the University of Stuttgart in patenting and marketing its innovations.

Friction stir welding is a still-young and thus often unfamiliar pressure welding process for joining flat components and semi-finished components made of...

Im Focus: First quantum photonic circuit with electrically driven light source

Optical quantum computers can revolutionize computer technology. A team of researchers led by scientists from Münster University and KIT now succeeded in putting a quantum optical experimental set-up onto a chip. In doing so, they have met one of the requirements for making it possible to use photonic circuits for optical quantum computers.

Optical quantum computers are what people are pinning their hopes on for tomorrow’s computer technology – whether for tap-proof data encryption, ultrafast...

Im Focus: OLED microdisplays in data glasses for improved human-machine interaction

The Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP has been developing various applications for OLED microdisplays based on organic semiconductors. By integrating the capabilities of an image sensor directly into the microdisplay, eye movements can be recorded by the smart glasses and utilized for guidance and control functions, as one example. The new design will be debuted at Augmented World Expo Europe (AWE) in Berlin at Booth B25, October 18th – 19th.

“Augmented-reality” and “wearables” have become terms we encounter almost daily. Both can make daily life a little simpler and provide valuable assistance for...

Im Focus: Artificial Intelligence Helps in the Discovery of New Materials

With the help of artificial intelligence, chemists from the University of Basel in Switzerland have computed the characteristics of about two million crystals made up of four chemical elements. The researchers were able to identify 90 previously unknown thermodynamically stable crystals that can be regarded as new materials. They report on their findings in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

Elpasolite is a glassy, transparent, shiny and soft mineral with a cubic crystal structure. First discovered in El Paso County (Colorado, USA), it can also be...

Im Focus: Complex hardmetal tools out of the 3D printer

For the first time, Fraunhofer IKTS shows additively manufactured hardmetal tools at WorldPM 2016 in Hamburg. Mechanical, chemical as well as a high heat resistance and extreme hardness are required from tools that are used in mechanical and automotive engineering or in plastics and building materials industry. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems IKTS in Dresden managed the production of complex hardmetal tools via 3D printing in a quality that are in no way inferior to conventionally produced high-performance tools.

Fraunhofer IKTS counts decades of proven expertise in the development of hardmetals. To date, reliable cutting, drilling, pressing and stamping tools made of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

European Health Forum Gastein 2016 kicks off today

28.09.2016 | Event News

Laser use for neurosurgery and biofabrication - LaserForum 2016 focuses on medical technology

27.09.2016 | Event News

Experts from industry and academia discuss the future mobile telecommunications standard 5G

23.09.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New imaging technique in Alzheimer’s disease - opens up possibilities for new drug development

28.09.2016 | Medical Engineering

Innovate coating extends the life of materials for industrial use

28.09.2016 | Materials Sciences

Blockchain Set to Transform the Financial Services Market

28.09.2016 | Business and Finance

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>