Stratosphere-troposphere Processes And their Role in Climate

Founded in 1992, SPARC is a core project of the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). SPARC coordinates international research efforts that apply knowledge of the atmosphere to understanding of how atmospheric chemical and physical processes interact with Earth’s climate system.

SPARC activities are organized under three overarching themes, combining process studies, observations, and modelling.

The three overarching themes are:

1. Atmospheric Dynamics and Predictability

Under this theme, SPARC, together with others in the WCRP community, focuses on understanding atmospheric dynamics and climate variability to provide better climate projections on scales from seasonal to centennial.

2. Chemistry and Climate
Three-way coupling between chemical, dynamical, and radiative processes could have important effects on climate, including modulation of climate sensitivity. SPARC promotes a holistic view of the effect of these concurrent changes to understand the implications for climate. In addition, SPARC has an identifiable role to play in better understanding the emissions of the gases controlled under the Montreal Protocol.

3. Long-term Records for Climate Understanding

SPARC is renowned for its role in assessing the value of long-term climate data records. These are used to improve our understanding of the climate system, climate variability and trends as well as for evaluating climate models. SPARC promotes the creation, analysis, and interpretation of long-term climate data records that require international cooperation.

The activities of SPARC are governed and coordinated by the SPARC leadership team that is composed of experts from around the world who dedicate their time to SPARC’s international activities. These include the SPARC Scientific Steering Group (SSG), who serve to guide SPARC’s scientific focus, targeted activities and their leaders, the WCRP Joint Science Committee liaisons, and WCRP Secretariat officer, as well as the SPARC International Project Office (IPO) that is located in Oberpfaffenhofen and sponsored by DLR.In addition to coordinating science, SPARC also established a SPARC Data Centre  , now hosted by Centre for Environmental Data Archival (CEDA). The SPARC Data Centre provides a platform to collect and archive data sets that are used for SPARC activities. It also provides a means for SPARC scientists to exchange and store their data and documentation as well as to disseminate their data set to the broader scientific community.

For more information and detailed overview of SPARC’s activities, please visit the SPARC website at To find out more on how to get involved in SPARC, visit the website here.

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