Allen, Douglas Naval Research Laboratory, Washington DC.
Last reviewed:November 2019
- Dynamical state of the middle atmosphere
- Wave motions in the middle atmosphere
- Impact of middle atmosphere on climate and weather
- Stratospheric ozone
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The study of air motion in the atmospheric layer that extends roughly from 10 to 100 km (6 to 60 mi) altitude. The middle atmosphere is a region of particular interest because of the presence of ozone, which shields the Earth's surface from harmful solar ultraviolet radiation. The discovery in the 1980s of the Antarctic ozone hole provided strong motivation for research into middle-atmosphere dynamics. Additional motivation comes from more recent evidence that the middle atmosphere may influence weather and climate at the Earth's surface. Also, changes observed in the temperature and composition of the middle atmosphere may provide useful indicators of human-induced climate change. Although it may seem remote, the middle atmosphere is not so far removed from everyday experience, as the following examples illustrate. See also: Dynamic meteorology; Global climate change; Ozone
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