Over the past 40 years, the Earth's stratosphere has become thinner by 400 meters

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Over the past 40 years, the Earth's stratosphere has become thinner by 400 meters
Over the past 40 years, the Earth's stratosphere has become thinner by 400 meters
14 May, 11:34SciencePhoto: Reddit
Due to greenhouse gas emissions, the thickness of the atmospheric layer will decrease by another 1000 meters by 2080. Thinning stratosphere can affect satellites, radio communications and GPS.

The Earth's atmosphere consists of several layers. At the bottom is the troposphere, where people live. Above it, at an altitude of 20 to 60 km above the Earth's surface, is the stratosphere. Carbon dioxide from the troposphere heats and expands the air, thereby pushing the lower boundary of the stratosphere upward. But when it enters the stratosphere, CO2 cools the air, causing it to contract and thereby further thinning this layer.

Scientists have known in the past that as carbon dioxide emissions increase, the troposphere spreads higher and higher, and they assumed that the stratosphere is shrinking because of this. A new study by an international group of scientists, published in Environmental Research Letters, has shown that this is indeed the case. Analysis of satellite observations, which have been carried out since the 1980s, as well as computer simulations have shown that the process of thinning of the stratosphere is happening around the world, according to The Guardian.

The ozone layer, which absorbs ultraviolet rays, is in the stratosphere, so the researchers speculated that the thinning of the stratosphere could be attributed to the loss of ozone. However, new data have shown that the rise in CO2 is behind this, not ozone, which began to recover after the 1989 Montreal Protocol banned the use of chemicals that deplete the ozone layer. Thinning stratosphere can affect satellite trajectories, spacecraft and space-based navigation systems.

Photo:Метеоролог и я

Many scientists believe that it is time to declare a new geological era - the Anthropocene, a characteristic feature of which is the dominance of human activity on Earth. Others believe that, by analogy with the Bronze and Iron Ages, the current stage should be called the Plastic Age. In any case, the destructive influence of man on the planet is obvious. One of the latest discoveries demonstrating its benefits was the recent discovery of a displacement of the Earth's axis: due to the massive melting of glaciers as a result of the climate crisis, the weight of the globe is being redistributed.

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