Articles | Volume 20, issue 21
Research article
30 Oct 2020
Research article |  | 30 Oct 2020

Gravitational separation of Ar∕N2 and age of air in the lowermost stratosphere in airborne observations and a chemical transport model

Benjamin Birner, Martyn P. Chipperfield, Eric J. Morgan, Britton B. Stephens, Marianna Linz, Wuhu Feng, Chris Wilson, Jonathan D. Bent, Steven C. Wofsy, Jeffrey Severinghaus, and Ralph F. Keeling


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Short summary
With new high-precision observations from nine aircraft campaigns and 3-D chemical transport modeling, we show that the argon-to-nitrogen ratio (Ar / N2) in the lowermost stratosphere provides a useful constraint on the “age of air” (the time elapsed since entry of an air parcel into the stratosphere). Therefore, Ar / N2 in combination with traditional age-of-air indicators, such as CO2 and N2O, could provide new insights into atmospheric mixing and transport.
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