Multidecadal Changes in the Vertical Temperature Structure of the Tropical Troposphere

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Science  18 Feb 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5456, pp. 1242-1245
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5456.1242

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Trends in global lower tropospheric temperature derived from satellite observations since 1979 show less warming than trends based on surface meteorological observations. Independent radiosonde observations of surface and tropospheric temperatures confirm that, since 1979, there has been greater warming at the surface than aloft in the tropics. Associated lapse-rate changes show a decrease in the static stability of the atmosphere, which exceeds unforced static stability variations in climate simulations with state-of-the-art coupled ocean-atmosphere models. The differential temperature trends and lapse-rate changes seen during the satellite era are not sustained back to 1960.

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