Articles | Volume 16, issue 15
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 10195–10213, 2016
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 10195–10213, 2016

Research article 11 Aug 2016

Research article | 11 Aug 2016

Seasonal and inter-annual variability of lower stratospheric age of air spectra

Felix Ploeger and Thomas Birner

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Cited articles

Abalos, M., Legras, B., Ploeger, F., and Randel, W. J.: Evaluating the advective Brewer-Dobson circulation in three reanalyses for the period 1979–2012, J. Geophys. Res., 120, 7534–7554,, 2015.
Abalos, M., Legras, B., and Shuckburgh, E.: Interannual variability in effective diffusivity in the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere from reanalysis data, Q. J. Roy. Meteor. Soc., 142, 1847–1861,, 2016.
Andrews, A. E., Boering, K. A., Wofsy, S. C., Daube, B. C., Jones, D. B., Alex, S., Loewenstein, M., Podolske, J. R., and Strahan, S. E.: Empirical age spectra for the midlatitude lower stratosphere from in situ observations of CO2: Quantitative evidence for a subtropical “barrier” to horizontal transport, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 10257–10274, 2001.
Andrews, D. G., Holton, J. R., and Leovy, C. B.: Middle Atmosphere Dynamics, Academic Press, San Diego, USA, 489 pp., 1987.
Short summary
We investigate the aging of air in the stratosphere caused by transport due to Brewer's circulation, using the Boundary Impulse Evolving Response (BIER) method. The age spectra show multiple peaks caused by the seasonal and inter-annual variations of transport. The modal age is controlled by the residual circulation in the tropics and winter hemisphere extratropics and by mixing in the summer hemisphere. Analysis of the full age spectrum is strongly recommended for model inter-comparisons.
Final-revised paper