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Trading places in the atmosphere

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Science  21 Jun 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5269, pp. 1717
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5269.1717a

The key area of exchange between the troposphere and the stratosphere is in the tropics, and one effect of this process is to control the input of chlorofluorocarbons and other pollutants to the stratosphere. Volk et al. (p. 1763.) studied the distribution of a variety of tracers in this region using aircraft to quantify the exchange of tropical and mid-latitude air in the lower stratosphere at altitudes from 16 to 21 kilometers. Exchange of air is slower (on a time scale of about 13 months) than has been generally thought and is slower than the time for mixing in the mid-latitudes but comparable to the time for higher ascent of tropical air.

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