AGW Observer

Observations of anthropogenic global warming

Papers on temperature trends in stratosphere

Posted by Ari Jokimäki on August 21, 2009

This list of papers contains observations of trends in temperature of Earth’s stratosphere. The list is not complete, and will most likely be updated in the future in order to make it more thorough and more representative.

UPDATE (November 20, 2011): Wang et al. (2011) added.
UPDATE (August 21, 2010): Randel & Cobb (2008) was changed to Randel & Cobb (1994) and full text link was added to it. Full text link was added to Shine et al. (2006) and Ramaswamy et al. (2002).
UPDATE (September 11, 2009): Randel et al. (2009) added.

Construction of Stratospheric Temperature Data Records from Stratospheric Sounding Units – Wang et al. (2011) “In recognizing the importance of Stratospheric Sounding Unit (SSU) onboard historical NOAA polar-orbiting satellites in assessment of long-term stratospheric temperature changes and limitations in previous available SSU datasets, this study constructs a fully-documented, publicly-accessible, and well-merged SSU time series for climate change investigations. Focusing on methodologies, this study describes the details of data processing and bias corrections in the SSU observations for generating consistent stratospheric temperature data records, including 1) removal of the instrument gas leak effect in its CO2 cell; 2) correction of the atmospheric CO2 increasing effect; 3) adjustment for different observation viewing angles; 4) removal of diurnal sampling biases due to satellite orbital drift; and 5) statistical merging of SSU observations from different satellites. After reprocessing, the stratospheric temperature records are composed of nadir-like, gridded brightness temperatures that correspond to identical weighting functions and a fixed local observation time. The 27-year reprocessed SSU data record comprises global monthly and pentad layer temperatures, with grid resolution of 2.5° latitudes by 2.5° longitudes, of the mid-stratosphere (TMS), upper-stratosphere (TUS), and top-stratosphere (TTS), which correspond to the three SSU channel observations. For 1979-2006, the global mean trends for TMS, TUS, and TTS, are respectively -1.236±0.131, -0.926±0.139, and -1.006±0.194 K/decade. Spatial trend pattern analyses indicated that this cooling occurred globally with larger cooling over the tropical stratosphere.” Likun Wang, Cheng-Zhi Zou, and Haifeng Qian, Journal of Climate 2011, doi: 10.1175/JCLI-D-11-00350.1

An update of observed stratospheric temperature trends – Randel et al. (2009) “An updated analysis of observed stratospheric temperature variability and trends is presented on the basis of satellite, radiosonde, and lidar observations. … Temperature changes in the lower stratosphere show cooling of ∼0.5 K/decade over much of the globe for 1979–2007, with some differences in detail among the different radiosonde and satellite data sets. Substantially larger cooling trends are observed in the Antarctic lower stratosphere during spring and summer, in association with development of the Antarctic ozone hole. … Trends in the middle and upper stratosphere have been derived from updated SSU data, taking into account changes in the SSU weighting functions due to observed atmospheric CO2 increases. The results show mean cooling of 0.5–1.5 K/decade during 1979–2005, with the greatest cooling in the upper stratosphere near 40–50 km.” [Full text]

Understanding Recent Stratospheric Climate Change – Thompson & Solomon (2009) “The long-term, global-mean cooling of the lower stratosphere stems from two downward steps in temperature, both of which are coincident with the cessation of transient warming after the volcanic eruptions of El Chichón and Mount Pinatubo. … First, evidence is provided that shows the unusual steplike behavior of global-mean stratospheric temperatures is dependent not only upon the trend but also on the temporal variability in global-mean ozone immediately following volcanic eruptions. Second, the authors argue that the warming/cooling pattern in global-mean temperatures following major volcanic eruptions is consistent with the competing radiative and chemical effects of volcanic eruptions on stratospheric temperature and ozone. Third, it is revealed that the contrasting latitudinal structures of recent stratospheric temperature and ozone trends are consistent with large-scale increases in the stratospheric overturning Brewer–Dobson circulation.” [Full text]

Anthropogenic and Natural Influences in the Evolution of Lower Stratospheric Cooling – Ramaswamy et al. (2006) “Observations reveal that the substantial cooling of the global lower stratosphere over 1979–2003 occurred in two pronounced steplike transitions. These arose in the aftermath of two major volcanic eruptions, with each cooling transition being followed by a period of relatively steady temperatures. … The anthropogenic factors drove the overall cooling during the period, and the natural ones modulated the evolution of the cooling.”

Global Change in the Upper Atmosphere – Laštovička et al. (2006) “The upper atmosphere is cooling and contracting as a result of rising greenhouse gas concentrations.”

A comparison of model-simulated trends in stratospheric temperatures – Shine et al. (2006) “Estimates of annual-mean stratospheric temperature trends over the past twenty years, from a wide variety of models, are compared both with each other and with the observed cooling seen in trend analyses using radiosonde and satellite observations. The modelled temperature trends are driven by changes in ozone (either imposed from observations or calculated by the model), carbon dioxide and other relatively well-mixed greenhouse gases, and stratospheric water vapour. … The modelled annual- and global-mean cooling of the upper stratosphere (near 1 hPa) is dominated by ozone and carbon dioxide changes, and is in reasonable agreement with observations.” [Full text]

Recent Stratospheric Climate Trends as Evidenced in Radiosonde Data: Global Structure and Tropospheric Linkages – Thompson & Solomon (2005) “In contrast to conclusions published in previous assessments of stratospheric temperature trends, it is demonstrated that in the annual mean the tropical stratosphere has cooled substantially over the past few decades.” [Full text]

Thermal and dynamical changes of the stratosphere since 1979 and their link to ozone and CO2 changes – Langematz et al. (2003) “It is suggested that the observed upper stratospheric temperature trends during the past two decades in low to middle latitudes are caused by radiative effects due to the O3 and CO2 changes, while the cooling of the polar stratosphere in winter is enhanced by changes in dynamical heating.”

Effects of ozone and well-mixed gases on annual-mean stratospheric temperature trends – Ramaswamy et al. (2002) “The effects of changes in ozone and well-mixed greenhouse gases upon the annual-mean stratospheric temperatures are investigated using a general circulation model and compared with the observed (1979–2000) trends. … …the simulated results are in reasonable quantitative agreement with the vertical profile of the observed global-and-annual-mean stratospheric cooling, and with the observed lower stratospheric zonal-and-annual-mean cooling. This affirms the major role of these species in the temperature trend of the stratosphere over the past two decades.” [Full text]

Stratospheric Temperature Trends: Observations and Model Simulations – Ramaswamy et al. (2001) “The stratosphere has, in general, undergone considerable cooling over the past 3 decades. … Simulations based on the known changes in species’ concentrations indicate that the depletion of lower stratospheric ozone is the major radiative factor in accounting for the 1979-1990 cooling trend in the global, annual-mean lower stratosphere (∼0.5 to 0.6 K/decade), with a substantially lesser contribution by the well-mixed greenhouse gases.” [Full text]

Stepwise changes in stratospheric temperature – Pawson et al. (1998) “There is a clear cooling over the 33 years considered. It is not well described by a linear trend because of the increased cooling since 1991.”

Coherent variations of monthly mean total ozone and lower stratospheric temperature – Randel & Cobb (1994) “The temperature trends derived here show significant cooling of the lower stratosphere over Northern Hemisphere (NH) midlatitudes in winter-spring and over Antartica in Southern Hemisphere (SH) spring; the overall space-time patterns are similar to those determined for ozone trends.” [Full text]


Review of Mesospheric Temperature Trends – Beig et al. (2003) “There are a growing number of experimental results centered on, or consistent with, zero temperature trend in the mesopause region (80–100 km). The most reliable data sets show no significant trend but an uncertainty of at least 2 K/decade. On the other hand, a majority of studies indicate negative trends in the lower and middle mesosphere with an amplitude of a few degrees (2–3 K) per decade. In tropical latitudes the cooling trend increases in the upper mesosphere. … Quantitatively, the simulated cooling trend in the middle mesosphere produced only by CO2 increase is usually below the observed level. However, including other greenhouse gases and taking into account a “thermal shrinking” of the upper atmosphere result in a cooling of a few degrees per decade.” [Full text]


2 Responses to “Papers on temperature trends in stratosphere”

  1. Ari Jokimäki said

    I updated this list. Randel & Cobb (2008) was changed to Randel & Cobb (1994) and full text link was added to it. Full text link was added to Shine et al. (2006) and Ramaswamy et al. (2002).

  2. Ari Jokimäki said

    I added Wang et al. (2011).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: