Articles | Volume 20, issue 21
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 12391–12408, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-12391-2020
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 20, 12391–12408, 2020
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-20-12391-2020

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 et al.

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Cited articles

Andrews, A. E., Boering, K. A., Daube, B. C., Wofsy, S. C., Hintsa, E. J., Weinstock, E. M., and Bui, T. P.: Empirical age spectra for the lower tropical stratosphere from in situ observations of CO2: Implications for stratospheric transport, J. Geophys. Res., 104, 26581–26595, https://doi.org/10.1029/1999JD900150, 1999. 
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, https://doi.org/10.1029/2000JD900703, 2001. 
Baggenstos, D., Häberli, M., Schmitt, J., Shackleton, S. A., Birner, B., Severinghaus, J. P., Kellerhals, T., and Fischer, H.: Earth's radiative imbalance from the Last Glacial Maximum to the present, P. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 116, 14881–14886, https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1905447116, 2019. 
Banks, P. M. and Kockarts, G.: Aeronomy, Part B, 1st edn., Academic Press, New York, USA and London, UK, 1973. 
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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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