Anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), aerosols and their precursors are all drivers of changes in Earth's climate. Growing evidence indicates that changes in the chemical composition of the Upper Troposphere and Stratosphere (UTS) also play a key role in affecting surface climate. On a decadal timescale, there is strong evidence that variability in the UTS affects the troposphere and surface climate. The impact of changes in the UTS on surface climate is inextricably linked to many other components of the climate system. However, the representation of these components in current Chemical Climate Models (CCMs) and Earth System Models (ESMs) is still largely inadequate.
The overall goals of StratoClim are (a) to quantitatively assess the role of the UTS in climate change, and (b) to improve climate projections by developing and including within ESMs new, interactive modules for stratospheric aerosols and ozone and by improving our understanding of UTS water vapour variations and the representation of upper tropospheric clouds. To reach these overarching goals the objectives of StratoClim are:
(1) to develop the scientific basis for including the climate relevant components of the UTS as interactive modules in ESMs,
(2) to construct and implementing such modules,
(3) to assess the UTS's role in climate, and
(4) to produce new and better climate model projections.
To achieve these goals StratoClim combines a large scale tropical aircraft campaign, longer-term operation of a tropical measurement station, (3) satellite data analysis including development of new satellite data products, (4) process and regional modelling, (5) global modelling with CCMs and ESMs, (6) studies of the socioeconomic implications of the findings