A study has warned that man-made global warming has caused the troposphere to expand, while parallel cooling at high altitudes is causing the stratosphere to shrink, which could affect atmospheric circulation.
Data published in Science Advances revealed that the boundary between those layers, which is closest to Earth, is rising in the Northern Hemisphere.
The first, with a thickness of between 15 kilometers in Ecuador and nine kilometers at the poles, is where life develops on this planet.
In the second case, its height is about 50 kilometers, in which there is the ozone layer, which provides protection from the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
The boundary between them is called the tropopause and it marks the line from which the temperature does not decrease with altitude, but rather increases.
Scientists from the University of Toronto, Canada, and the US National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) confirm that the tropopause rises between 80 and 50 meters per decade for 40 years and the range varies depending on the instruments used to measure it.
The bulletin said that GPS satellite networks put the altitude between 70 and 80 meters per nodes, while the IGRA network, made up of two hundred radiosonde stations, put it at an altitude of about 50 meters.
Jane Liu, of the Canadian Center for Graduate Studies and co-author of the paper, cautioned that the troposphere temperature increased between 1980 and 2020, mainly since 2000, and the stratosphere decreased due to changes in atmospheric layers.
Bill Randell, NCAR’s principal investigator in atmospheric chemistry and senior author of Liu’s study, stated that these results are limited to the northern part of the planet because it has a reliable network of radio probes.
“We expanded the study using global GPS data, which began to be collected in 2002. They match well with radios in the period in which they overlap. In principle, we included the GPS results, and they showed a lower elevation of the tropopause in the hemisphere. Southerner,” Randell explained.
They pulled the measurements from the final study because other phenomena could be interfering. Above the stratosphere are the mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere layers, where the boundaries with space are blurred, and although not much is known about what happens in them, the new study confirms a contraction in the first two.
“I suppose the height of the stratopause (the upper part of the stratosphere) has gone down, but I don’t think anyone has investigated it,” the expert considered.
(with information from Prensa Latina)
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