Staff Publications

Staff Publications

  • external user (warningwarning)
  • Log in as
  • language uk
  • About

    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Record number 507698
Title Why CO2 cools the middle atmosphere - a consolidating model perspective
Author(s) Goessling, Helge F.; Bathiany, Sebastian
Source Earth System dynamics 7 (2016)3. - ISSN 2190-4979 - p. 697 - 715.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/esd-7-697-2016
Department(s) Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2016
Abstract

Complex models of the atmosphere show that increased carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations, while warming the surface and troposphere, lead to lower temperatures in the stratosphere and mesosphere. This cooling, which is often referred to as "stratospheric cooling", is evident also in observations and considered to be one of the fingerprints of anthropogenic global warming. Although the responsible mechanisms have been identified, they have mostly been discussed heuristically, incompletely, or in combination with other effects such as ozone depletion, leaving the subject prone to misconceptions. Here we use a one-dimensional window-grey radiation model of the atmosphere to illustrate the physical essence of the mechanisms by which CO2 cools the stratosphere and mesosphere: (i) the blocking effect, associated with a cooling due to the fact that CO2 absorbs radiation at wavelengths where the atmosphere is already relatively opaque, and (ii) the indirect solar effect, associated with a cooling in places where an additional (solar) heating term is present (which on Earth is particularly the case in the upper parts of the ozone layer). By contrast, in the grey model without solar heating within the atmosphere, the cooling aloft is only a transient blocking phenomenon that is completely compensated as the surface attains its warmer equilibrium. Moreover, we quantify the relative contribution of these effects by simulating the response to an abrupt increase in CO2 (and chlorofluorocarbon) concentrations with an atmospheric general circulation model. We find that the two permanent effects contribute roughly equally to the CO2-induced cooling, with the indirect solar effect dominating around the stratopause and the blocking effect dominating otherwise.

Comments
There are no comments yet. You can post the first one!
Post a comment
 
Please log in to use this service. Login as Wageningen University & Research user or guest user in upper right hand corner of this page.