A team of scientists, including several from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), has determined that human-related emissions are largely responsible for an increase in the height of the tropopause - the boundary between the two lowest layers of the atmosphere. The research results, which will be published July 25 in the journal Science, provide additional evidence that emissions from power plants, automobiles, and other human-related (or anthropogenic) sources are having profound impacts on the atmosphere and global climate.
"Determining why the height of the tropopause is increasing gives us insights into the causes of the overall warming of the lower atmosphere," explains Tom Wigley, an NCAR senior scientist and co-author of the article. "Although not conclusive in itself, this research is an important piece in the jigsaw puzzle."
Benjamin Santer of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is the lead author of the article, "Contributions of Anthropogenic and Natural Forcing to Recent Tropopause Height Changes." Wigley and four other NCAR scientists contributed to the article. NCARs primary sponsor is the National Science Foundation.
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