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Use of changes in tropopause height to detect human influences on climate

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The height of the global-mean tropopause shows a steady increase since 1979 in re-analyses of numerical weather forecasts. This is in agreement with results from a climate model driven by natural and anthropogenic forcings. Superimposed on the multi-decadal overall trends in both simulations and re-analyses are higher-frequency fluctuations (with periods of few years) related to explosive volcanic eruptions. Global-mean tropopause height has the desirable property of acting as a natural filter, removing much of the ENSO variability that hampers the interpretation of tropospheric and surface temperature changes. In model simulations with anthropogenic forcings, changes in tropopause height can be detected roughly 20 years earlier than changes in surface temperature

Seit 1979 ist die Höhe der global gemittelten Tropopause in Reanalysen angestiegen, in Übereinstimmung mit Ergebnissen eines Klimamodells, das natürliche und anthropogene Antriebe erfährt. Sowohl in den Simulationen als auch in den Reanalysen sind dem Trend über Jahrzehnte höherfrequente Fluktuationen (mit Zeitskalen von wenigen Jahren) überlagert, die in Verbindung mit Vulkanausbrüchen stehen. Die global gemittelte Tropopausenhöhe hat die gewünschte Eigenschaft, wie ein natürlicher Filter zu wirken, der viel der ENSO-Variabilität entfernt, die die Interpretation der Temperatur der Troposphäre und des Erdbodens erschwert. In Modellexperimenten mit anthropogenem Antrieb können Klimaänderungen anhand der Tropopausenhöhe ca. 20 Jahre früher entdeckt werden, als das bei Nutzung der Bodentemperatur möglich ist.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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  • Meteorologische Zeitschrift (originally founded in 1866) is the joint periodical of the meteorological societies of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. It accepts high-quality peer-reviewed manuscripts on all aspects of observational, theoretical and computational research out of the entire field of meteorology, including climatology. Meteorologische Zeitschrift represents a natural forum for the meteorological community of Central Europe and worldwide.
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