Volume 80 (2002) Issue 4B Pages 793-809
Improvements in our understanding of transport processes in the stratosphere have progressed hand in hand with advances in understanding of stratospheric dynamics and with accumulating remote and in situ observations of the distributions of, and relationships between, stratospheric tracers. It is convenient to regard the stratosphere as being separated into four regions: the summer hemisphere, the tropics, the wintertime midlatitude “surf zone”, and the winter polar vortex. Stratospheric transport is dominated by mean diabatic advection (upwelling in the tropics, downwelling in the surf zone and the vortex) and, especially, by rapid isentropic stirring within the surf zone. These characteristics determine the global-scale distributions of tracers, and their mutual relationships. Despite our much-improved understanding of these processes, many chemical transport models still appear to exhibit significant shortcomings in simulating stratospheric transport, as is evidenced by their tendency to underestimate the age of stratospheric air.