Contributions of Anthropogenic and Natural Forcing to Recent Tropopause Height Changes

BD Santer, MF Wehner, TML Wigley, R Sausen, GA Meehl, KE Taylor, C Ammann, Wolfgang Brueggemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

317 Citations (Scopus)


Observations indicate that the height of the tropopause-the boundary between the stratosphere and troposphere-has increased by several hundred meters since 1979. Comparable increases are evident in climate model experiments. The latter show that human-induced changes in ozone and well-mixed greenhouse gases account for approximately 80% of the simulated rise in tropopause height over 1979-1999. Their primary contributions are through cooling of the stratosphere (caused by ozone) and warming of the troposphere (caused by well-mixed greenhouse gases). A model-predicted fingerprint of tropopause height changes is statistically detectable in two different observational ("reanalysis") data sets. This positive detection result allows us to attribute overall tropopause height changes to a combination of anthropogenic and natural external forcings, with the anthropogenic component predominating.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-483
Number of pages5
Issue number5632
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jul 2003


Dive into the research topics of 'Contributions of Anthropogenic and Natural Forcing to Recent Tropopause Height Changes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this