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CMIP6: Not-so-sudden stratospheric cooling


Personalabs STD testing

As predicted in 1967 by Manabe and Wetherald, the stratosphere has been cooling.

A new paper by Ben Santer and colleagues has appeared in PNAS where they extend their previous work on the detection and attribution of anthropogenic climate change to include the upper stratosphere, using observations from the Stratospheric Sounding Units (SSUs) (and their successors, the AMSU instruments) that have flown since 1979.

So SSU me

Like MSU trends, these records reflected a weighted average of atmospheric temperatures, and the three SSU channels progressively weight higher levels in the stratosphere, roughly centered on 30km, 40km and 45km above the surface but with quite a bit of overlap. Until relatively recently, there were some discrepancies in what the climate trends were from these instruments because of the usual issues with remote sensing – instrument trends, orbital shifts, inter-satellite calibration etc. Thompson et al. (2012) described the issues as ‘mysterious’, but efforts to better correct the record for non-climatic effects soon bore fruit, and the…

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