As the outermost gas layer of the earth, the atmosphere is divided into troposphere, stratosphere, ozone layer, mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere, which is a layer of natural barrier to protect the earth. But that barrier is also changing because of climate change.
A new study suggests that the Earth's stratosphere has shrunk by about a quarter of a mile in just 40 years, with implications for astronomical navigation systems, foreign media reported.
The stratosphere, also known as the stratosphere, is a layer of the earth's atmosphere that is hotter than the earth's atmosphere and cooler than the earth's atmosphere. This layer is divided into different temperature layers, with the hot layer at the top and the cold layer at the bottom.
It is the opposite of the troposphere, which lies just below the surface, where it is cold above and hot below. At mid-latitudes, the stratosphere lies between 10km and 50km above the surface, while at the poles it begins about 8km above the surface.
A study published in Environmental Research Letters suggests that the stratosphere thinned by about a quarter of a mile between 1980 and 2018. By 2080, the stratosphere will have thinened by nearly a mile.
The main reason for the thinning of the stratosphere is the increase in greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels enters the atmosphere's troposphere, where it reflects some of the light back into space and absorbs heat.
As greenhouse gas emissions increase, the troposphere absorbs more temperature, causing the Earth's temperature to keep rising. At the same time, the stratosphere is getting cooler.
The researchers say the study found that the two upper and lower stratospheric boundaries are getting closer. Since 1980, the height of the tropopause has been rising and that of the stratopause has been falling.
Due to the stable flow of the stratosphere and high visibility, some large passenger aircraft and jet aircraft often fly in the stratosphere 30-50 kilometers away from the surface. In addition, some satellites and the International Space Station operate in the thermosphere and ionosphere above the stratosphere.
As a result, a thinning stratosphere could seriously affect satellite orbits and radio waves, leading to problems with the Global Positioning System (GPS) and other space-based navigation systems.
Paul Williams, a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Reading in the UK, said changes in stratospheric height would also affect things like the thermosphere and ionosphere above it, which would also have an impact on radio transmissions and GPS positioning.