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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • Stratosphere
  • Whirlwinds
  • Dynamic meteorology
  • stratosphere
  • ozone
  • climatechange

Index Terms

  • 3334 Atmospheric Processes: Middle atmosphere dynamics
  • 7537 Solar Physics, Astrophysics, and Astronomy: Solar and stellar variability




D. W. Waugh and L. M. Polvani

Over the past few decades there has been intensive research into the Earth's stratosphere, which has resulted in major advances in our understanding of its dynamics, transport, and chemistry and its coupling with other parts of the atmosphere. This interest in the stratosphere was originally motivated by concerns regarding the stratospheric ozone layer, which plays a crucial role in shielding Earth's surface from harmful ultraviolet light. In the 1980s the depletion of ozone was first observed, with the Antarctic ozone hole being the most dramatic example, and then linked to increases in chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). These findings led to the signing of the Montreal Protocol, which regulates the production of CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances. Over the subsequent decades, extensive research has led to a much better understanding of the controls on stratospheric ozone and the impact of changes in CFC abundance (including the recovery of the ozone layer as the abundance of CFCs returns to historical levels). More recently, there has been added interest in the stratosphere because of its potential impact on surface climate and weather. This surface impact involves changes in the radiative forcing, the flux of ozone and other trace constituents into the troposphere, and dynamical coupling.

Citation: Waugh, D. W., and L. M. Polvani (2010), Introduction, in The Stratosphere: Dynamics, Transport, and Chemistry, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 190, edited by L. M. Polvani, A. H. Sobel, and D. W. Waugh, pp. 1–3, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2010GM001018.

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