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FIGURE 3.2. A typical winter ozone profile in middle latitudes (Boulder, CO, USA, 2 Jan 1997). The heavy curve shows the profile of ozone partial pressure (mPa), the light curve temperature (°C) plotted against altitude up to about 33 km. The dashed horizontal line shows the approximate position of the tropopause. Balloon data courtesy of NOAA Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory.

FIGURE 3.2. A typical winter ozone profile in middle latitudes (Boulder, CO, USA, 2 Jan 1997). The heavy curve shows the profile of ozone partial pressure (mPa), the light curve temperature (°C) plotted against altitude up to about 33 km. The dashed horizontal line shows the approximate position of the tropopause. Balloon data courtesy of NOAA Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory.

constant) and M is any third body needed to carry the excess energy.

The resulting ozone, through its radiative properties, is the reason for the existence of the stratosphere.1 It is also one of the primary practical reasons to be interested in stratospheric behavior, since (as we saw in Chapter 2) ozone is the primary absorber of solar UV and thus shields life at the surface (including us) from the damaging effects of this radiation. The stratosphere, as its name suggests, is highly stratified and poorly mixed (stratus, meaning "layered"), with long residence times for particles ejected into it (for example by volcanos) from the troposphere below. It is close to radiative equilibrium.

Below the tropopause, which is located at altitudes of 8-16 km (depending on latitude and season), temperature increases strongly moving down through the troposphere (tropos, meaning 'turn') to the surface, the third hot spot. It contains about 85% of the atmosphere's mass and essentially all the water vapor, the primary greenhouse gas, as illustrated in Fig. 3.3. Note that the distribution of water vapor is in large part a consequence of the Clausius-Clapeyron relation, Eq. 1.4 and rapidly decays with height as T decreases.

From the vertical distribution of O3 and H2O, shown in Fig. 3.2 and Fig. 3.3, and of CO2 (which is well mixed in the vertical) a radiative equilibrium profile can

Leon Philippe Teisserenc de Bort (1855—1913). French meteorologist who pioneered the use of unmanned, high-flying, instrumented balloons and discovered the stratosphere. He was the first to identify the temperature inversion at the tropopause. In 1902 he suggested that the atmosphere was divided into two layers.

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