Articles | Volume 23, issue 2
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-23-843-2023
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-23-843-2023
Research article
 | 
18 Jan 2023
Research article |  | 18 Jan 2023

Observed changes in stratospheric circulation: decreasing lifetime of N2O, 2005–2021

Michael J. Prather, Lucien Froidevaux, and Nathaniel J. Livesey

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Cited articles

Abalos, M., Calvo, N., Benito-Barca, S., Garny, H., Hardiman, S. C., Lin, P., Andrews, M. B., Butchart, N., Garcia, R., Orbe, C., Saint-Martin, D., Watanabe, S., and Yoshida, K.: The Brewer–Dobson circulation in CMIP6, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 13571–13591, https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-21-13571-2021, 2021. 
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Butchart, N. and Scaife, A.: Removal of chlorofluorocarbons by increased mass exchange between the stratosphere and troposphere in a changing climate, Nature, 410, 799–802, https://doi.org/10.1038/35071047, 2001. 
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Short summary
From satellite data for nitrous oxide (N2O), ozone and temperature, we calculate the monthly loss of N2O and find it is increasing faster than expected, resulting in a shorter lifetime, which reduces the impact of anthropogenic emissions. We identify the cause as enhanced vertical lofting of high-N2O air into the tropical middle stratosphere, where it is destroyed photochemically. Because global warming is due in part to N2O, this finding presents a new negative climate-chemistry feedback.
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