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  • the part of the atmosphere 20 to 50 kilometers (12 to 31 miles) above the earth's surface; the area where ozone forms. Source: Anthromorphemics
  • The thermal atmospheric region of the atmosphere between the troposphere and the mesosphere. The lower boundary of the stratospheric region is marked by the tropopause and begins at approximately 13 kilometers; however, this altitude of the troposphere depends on latitude. The upper limit of the stratosphere is marked by the stratopause at approximately 50 kilometers. The stratosphere is characterized by relatively stable temperatures (between -80 and -50 degrees Celsius) in the lower regions, and begins warming near 20 kilometers, reaching its maximum temperature of approximately 0 degree Celsius at the stratopause. Stratospheric chemistry is of particular interest to scientists because ozone, the principal substance that shields the earth from incoming solar ultraviolet radiation, is found in the stratosphere. It should also be noted that wind currents in the stratosphere are primarily horizontal in nature. [Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences; v50; 3928-38; 1993.] [Nature; v370; 429-34; 1994.] Source: Atmospheric Chemistry Glossary