A new study shows Earth’s atmosphere is rising because of climate change!

A new study shows Earth’s atmosphere is rising because of climate change. Weather balloon measurements have been taken in the Northern Hemisphere over the past 40 years. This reveals that the troposphere is the lowest level of Earth’s atmosphere, has been expanding upward at a rate of roughly 164 feet per decade and climate change is the leading cause. The finds were published in the journal Science Advances.

This is a clear sign of changing atmospheric structure, according to the researchers. The study results provide confirmation and evidence that greenhouse gases are altering the atmosphere. The troposphere is the layer of the atmosphere where people live and breathe in. It extends from sea level to a height ranging from 12.4 miles over the tropics to 4.3 miles above the poles. This layer of the atmosphere contains the most moisture and heat, and it is also where a lot of atmospheric weather occurs.

The location of the tropopause is what commercial pilots are interested in. They often fly in the lower stratosphere to avoid turbulence. The location also plays a vital role in severe thunderstorms. In recent decades the steadily increasing height of the tropopause does not significantly affect ecosystems or society. But it shows the impacts of greenhouse gas emissions.

Air in the atmosphere contracts when cold and expands when hot, and because of this troposphere’s upper boundary naturally shrinks and grows with the changing of the seasons. The atmospheric data were analyzed, such as pressure, temperature and humidity have taken between 20 and 80 degrees north latitude and paired it with GPS data. It showed an increased quantity of greenhouse gases trap more heat in the atmosphere. This causes the tropopause to rise higher than ever before. The rate of rising seems to be increasing.

As per the study between 1980 -2000, the tropopause rose roughly 164 feet per decade but now between 2001-2020, that rose to 174 feet per decade. In their region of study, the researchers have considered natural events such as two volcanic eruptions in the 1980s and the periodic Pacific warming in the late 1990s; it was estimated that human activity accounted for 80% of the total increase in atmospheric height. The researchers also analyzed observations from specialized satellite instruments from 2002 that probe the atmosphere by measuring the degree to which the Global Positioning System radio signals bend and slow as they pass through the atmosphere.

Climate change is not only the human-made reason for the rising tropopause. Because of the past release of ozone-depleting gases, the stratosphere, the layer above the troposphere, is also shrinking. Through the destruction of the stratospheric ozone layer, these gases shrank the stratosphere. The 1987 Montreal Protocol and subsequent international agreements to stop emissions of ozone-destroying chemicals were able to successfully stabilize temperatures in the lower stratosphere and reverse the loss of ozone. In more recent years, restrictions against their emission have caused the atmospheric concentrations of these gases to decline.

Scientists are still not sure how a rising troposphere’s upper boundary will influence the climate or weather. The study shows two important ways that humans are changing the atmosphere. Emissions of greenhouse gases are increasingly affecting the height of the tropopause.

About the author

Nick Brown

Nick is a qualified writer and a blogger, who loves to dabble with and write about technology. While focusing on and writing on tech topics, his varied skills and experience enable him to write on any topic related to tech which may interest him. [email protected]

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