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A global climatology of stratospheric aerosol surface area density has been developed using the multiwavelength aerosol extinction measurements of the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) II for 1984–1994. The spatial and temporal variability of aerosol surface area density at 15.5, 20.5, and 25.5 km are presented as well as cumulative statistical distributions as a function of altitude and latitude. During this period, which encompassed the injection and dissipation of the aerosol associated with the June 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption as well as the low loading period of 1989–1991, aerosol surface area density varied by more than a factor 30 at some altitudes. Aerosol surface area density derived from SAGE II and from the University of Wyoming optical particle counters are compared for 1991–1994 and are shown to be in generally good agreement though some differences are noted. An extension of the climatology using single-wavelength measurements by the Stratospheric Aerosol Measurement II (1978–1994) and SAGE (1979–1981) instruments is also presented.