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Stratospheric age of air variations between 1600 and 2100AGE OF AIR BETWEEN 1600 AND 2100

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2016
Author Muthers S., Kuchar A., Stenke A., Schmitt J., Anet J. G., Raible C. C., Stocker T. F.,
Project Future and Past Solar Influence on the Terrestrial Climate II
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Geophysical Research Letters
Volume (Issue) 43(10)
Page(s) 5409 - 5418
Title of proceedings Geophysical Research Letters
DOI 10.1002/2016GL068734


The current understanding of preindustrial stratospheric age of air (AoA), its variability, and the potential natural forcing imprint on AoA is very limited. Here we assess the influence of natural and anthropogenic forcings on AoA using ensemble simulations for the period 1600 to 2100 and sensitivity simulations for different forcings. The results show that from 1900 to 2100, CO2 and ozone-depleting substances are the dominant drivers of AoA variability. With respect to natural forcings, volcanic eruptions cause the largest AoA variations on time scales of several years, reducing the age in the middle and upper stratosphere and increasing the age below. The effect of the solar forcing on AoA is small and dominated by multidecadal total solar irradiance variations, which correlate negatively with AoA. Additionally, a very weak positive relationship driven by ultraviolett variations is found, which is dominant for the 11 year cycle of solar variability.