Earth’s climate system is a complex fabric of several interlocking factors, thus the effects can be powerful. Glaciers have shrunk, ice in rivers and lakes is breaking up earlier, the distribution of plants and animals has changed and the trees are blooming fast too. But, while carbon dioxide heats the troposphere, the first 20 km layer of the atmosphere where humans and all other living things meet, it has the opposite effect on the stratosphere.
This reduction in the stratosphere is a clear sign of the climate emergency in which we are immersed, since it contains the very important ozone layer, on which we have already wreaked havoc through our CFC emissions. While collective global efforts have succeeded in halting ozone depletion, which caused a hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica, our greenhouse gas emissions have been altering the entire stratosphere.
“[Nosotros] We show that stratospheric contraction is not just a response to cooling, since pressure changes in both the tropopause and the stratopause contribute, “write the authors in the journal Enviromental Research Letters that collects the study.
This leads to the conclusion that better and more complete observations of the upper part of our atmosphere need to be obtained to assess the contraction of the stratosphere.
What other changes are our emissions producing in the atmosphere that we have not yet discovered? The experts wonder.