Journal of Atmospheric Chemistry

, Volume 23, Issue 2, pp 209–220 | Cite as

The effects of tropical cirrus clouds on the abundance of lower stratospheric ozone

  • A. E. Dessler
  • K. Minschwaner
  • E. M. Weinstock
  • E. J. Hintsa
  • J. G. Anderson
  • J. M. RussellIII


The distribution of many chemical constituents of the atmosphere (e.g., ozone) is at least partially determined by the distribution of net radiative heating in the atmosphere. In this paper, we demonstrate the significant effect of high cirrus clouds on the net radiative heating of the tropical lower stratosphere. A model of tropical lower stratospheric ozone is then used to demonstrate the sensitivity of calculated ozone to the varying cloud cover used in the model. We conclude that calculated ozone is sensitive to the inclusion of clouds in models and that models of the atmosphere should include a realistic description of tropical cirrus clouds in order to accurately simulate the chemical composition of the atmosphere.

Key words

cirrus clouds heating rates tropics lower stratospheric ozone 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. E. Dessler
    • 1
  • K. Minschwaner
    • 2
  • E. M. Weinstock
    • 3
  • E. J. Hintsa
    • 3
  • J. G. Anderson
    • 3
  • J. M. RussellIII
    • 4
  1. 1.NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbeltU.S.A.
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsNew Mexico Institute of Mining and TechnologySocorroU.S.A.
  3. 3.Atmospheric Research ProjectHarvard UniversityCambridgeU.S.A.
  4. 4.NASA Langley Research CenterHamptonU.S.A.

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