A reexamination of the “stratospheric fountain” hypothesis
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We reexamine the 'stratospheric fountain' hypothesis by comparing estimates of the annually and zonally averaged volume mixing ratio (vmr) of water vapor entering the stratosphere to annually and zonally averaged estimates of the saturation vmr of the tropical tropopause-region. We find that the vmr of water vapor entering the stratosphere (3.8±0.3 ppmv) agrees well with the saturation vmr of the tropical tropopause-region (4.0±0.8 ppmv). Consequently, our analysis provides no support for the 'stratospheric fountain' hypothesis, which required troposphere-to-stratosphere transport to occur preferentially in regions where the tropical tropopause is colder than average.
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