Ozone loss derived from balloon-borne tracer measurements in the 1999/2000 Arctic winter
Alan D. Robinson
Genevieve A. Millard
Neil R. P. Harris
Adrian M. Lee
J. D. McIntyre
John A. Pyle
Darin W. Toohey
James W. Elkins
Fred L. Moore
- Balloon-borne measurements of CFC11 (from the DIRAC in situ gas chromatograph and the DESCARTES grab sampler), ClO and O3 were made during the 1999/2000 Arctic winter as part of the SOLVE-THESEO 2000 campaign, based in Kiruna (Sweden). Here we present the CFC11 data from nine flights and compare them first with data from other instruments which flew during the campaign and then with the vertical distributions calculated by the SLIMCAT 3D CTM. We calculate ozone loss inside the Arctic vortex between late January and early March using the relation between CFC11 and O3 measured on the flights. The peak ozone loss (~1200ppbv) occurs in the 440-470K region in early March in reasonable agreement with other published empirical estimates. There is also a good agreement between ozone losses derived from three balloon tracer data sets used here. The magnitude and vertical distribution of the loss derived from the measurements is in good agreement with the loss calculated from SLIMCAT over Kiruna for the same days.
Heavy hydrogen in the stratosphere
T. S. Rhee
- We report measurements of the deuterium content of molecular hydrogen (H2) obtained from a suite of air samples that were collected during a stratospheric balloon flight between 12 and 33 km at 40º N in October 2002. Strong deuterium enrichments of up to 400 permil versus Vienna Standard Mean Ocean Water (VSMOW) are observed, while the H2 mixing ratio remains virtually constant. Thus, as hydrogen is processed through the H2 reservoir in the stratosphere, deuterium is accumulated in H2 . Using box model calculations we investigated the effects of H2 sources and sinks on the stratospheric enrichments. Results show that considerable isotope enrichments in the production of H2 from CH4 must take place, i.e., deuterium is transferred preferentially to H2 during the CH4 oxidation sequence. This supports recent conclusions from tropospheric H2 isotope measurements which show that H2 produced photochemically from CH4 and non-methane hydrocarbons must be enriched in deuterium to balance the tropospheric hydrogen isotope budget. In the absence of further data on isotope fractionations in the individual reaction steps of the CH4 oxidation sequence, this effect cannot be investigated further at present. Our measurements imply that molecular hydrogen has to be taken into account when the hydrogen isotope budget in the stratosphere is investigated.
Probing stratospheric transport and chemistry with new balloon and aircraft observations of the meridional and vertical N2O isotope distribution
- A comprehensive set of stratospheric balloon and aircraft samples was analyzed for the position-dependent isotopic composition of nitrous oxide (N2O). Results for a total of 220 samples from between 1987 and 2003 are presented, nearly tripling the number of mass-spectrometric N2O isotope measurements in the stratosphere published to date. Cryogenic balloon samples were obtained at polar (Kiruna/Sweden, 68° N), mid-latitude (southern France, 44° N) and tropical sites (Hyderabad/India, 18° N). Aircraft samples were collected with a newly-developed whole air sampler on board of the high-altitude aircraft M55 Geophysica during the EUPLEX 2003 campaign. For mixing ratios above 200 nmol mol−1, relative isotope enrichments (δ values) and mixing ratios display a compact relationship, which is nearly independent of latitude and season and which can be explained equally well by Rayleigh fractionation or mixing. However, for mixing ratios below 200 nmol mol−1 this compact relationship gives way to meridional, seasonal and interannual variations. A comparison to a previously published mid-latitude balloon profile even shows large zonal variations, justifying the use of three-dimensional (3-D) models for further data interpretation.
In general, the magnitude of the apparent fractionation constants (i.e., apparent isotope effects) increases continuously with altitude and decreases from the equator to the North Pole. Only the latter observation can be understood qualitatively by the interplay between the time-scales of N2O photochemistry and transport in a Rayleigh fractionation framework. Deviations from Rayleigh fractionation behavior also occur where polar vortex air mixes with nearly N2O-free upper stratospheric/mesospheric air (e.g., during the boreal winters of 2003 and possibly 1992). Aircraft observations in the polar vortex at mixing ratios below 200 nmol mol−1 deviate from isotope variations expected for both Rayleigh fractionation and two-end-member mixing, but could be explained by continuous weak mixing between intravortex and extravortex air (Plumb et al., 2000). However, it appears that none of the simple approaches described here can capture all features of the stratospheric N2O isotope distribution, again justifying the use of 3-D models. Finally, correlations between 18O/16O and average 15N/14N isotope ratios or between the position-dependent 15N/14N isotope ratios show that photo-oxidation makes a large contribution to the total N2O sink in the lower stratosphere (possibly up to 100% for N2O mixing ratios above 300 nmol mol−1). Towards higher altitudes, the temperature dependence of these isotope correlations becomes visible in the stratospheric observations.
Balloon-borne stratospheric BrO measurements: comparison with Envisat/SCIAMACHY BrO limb profiles
Claude C. Camy-Peyret
Martyn P. Chipperfield
Michel Van Roozendael
Christopher E. Sioris
- For the first time, results of all four existing stratospheric BrO profiling instruments, are presented and compared with reference to the SLIMCAT 3-dimensional chemical transport model (3-D CTM). Model calculations are used to infer a BrO profile validation set, measured by 3 different balloon sensors, for the new Envisat/SCIAMACHY (ENVIronment SATellite/SCanning Imaging Absorption spectroMeter for Atmospheric CHartographY) satellite instrument. The balloon observations include (a) balloon-borne in situ resonance fluorescence detection of BrO, (b) balloon-borne solar occultation DOAS measurements (Differential Optical Absorption Spectroscopy) of BrO in the UV, and (c) BrO profiling from the solar occultation SAOZ (Systeme d'Analyse par Observation Zenithale) balloon instrument. Since stratospheric BrO is subject to considerable diurnal variation and none of the measurements are performed close enough in time and space for a direct comparison, all balloon observations are considered with reference to outputs from the 3-D CTM. The referencing is performed by forward and backward air mass trajectory calculations to match the balloon with the satellite observations. The diurnal variation of BrO is considered by 1-D photochemical model calculation along the trajectories. The 1-D photochemical model is initialised with output data of the 3-D model with additional constraints on the vertical transport, the total amount and photochemistry of stratospheric bromine as given by the various balloon observations. Total [Bry]=(20.1±2.8)pptv obtained from DOAS BrO observations at mid-latitudes in 2003, serves as an upper limit of the comparison. Most of the balloon observations agree with the photochemical model predictions within their given error estimates. First retrieval exercises of BrO limb profiling from the SCIAMACHY satellite instrument agree to <±50% with the photochemically-corrected balloon observations, and tend to show less agreement below 20 km.
Highly resolved observations of trace gases in the lowermost stratosphere and upper troposphere from the Spurt project: an overview
Christian Thomas Gurk
Michaela I. Hegglin
- During SPURT (Spurenstofftransport in der Tropopausenregion, trace gas transport in the tropopause region) we performed measurements of a wide range of trace gases with different lifetimes and sink/source characteristics in the northern hemispheric upper troposphere (UT) and lowermost stratosphere (LMS). A large number of in-situ instruments were deployed on board a Learjet 35A, flying at altitudes up to 13.7 km, at times reaching to nearly 380 K potential temperature. Eight measurement campaigns (consisting of a total of 36 flights), distributed over all seasons and typically covering latitudes between 35° N and 75° N in the European longitude sector (10° W–20° E), were performed. Here we present an overview of the project, describing the instrumentation, the encountered meteorological situations during the campaigns and the data set available from SPURT. Measurements were obtained for N2O, CH4, CO, CO2, CFC12, H2, SF6, NO, NOy, O3 and H2O. We illustrate the strength of this new data set by showing mean distributions of the mixing ratios of selected trace gases, using a potential temperature – equivalent latitude coordinate system. The observations reveal that the LMS is most stratospheric in character during spring, with the highest mixing ratios of O3 and NOy and the lowest mixing ratios of N2O and SF6. The lowest mixing ratios of NOy and O3 are observed during autumn, together with the highest mixing ratios of N2O and SF6 indicating a strong tropospheric influence. For H2O, however, the maximum concentrations in the LMS are found during summer, suggesting unique (temperature- and convection-controlled) conditions for this molecule during transport across the tropopause. The SPURT data set is presently the most accurate and complete data set for many trace species in the LMS, and its main value is the simultaneous measurement of a suite of trace gases having different lifetimes and physical-chemical histories. It is thus very well suited for studies of atmospheric transport, for model validation, and for investigations of seasonal changes in the UT/LMS, as demonstrated in accompanying and elsewhere published studies.
Observation of mesospheric air inside the arctic stratospheric polar vortex in early 2003
- During several balloon flights inside the Arctic polar vortex in early 2003, unusual trace gas distributions were observed, which indicate a strong influence of mesospheric air in the stratosphere. The tuneable diode laser (TDL) instrument SPIRALE (Spectroscopie InFrarouge par Absorption de Lasers Embarqués) measured unusually high CO values (up to 600 ppb) on 27 January at about 30 km altitude. The cryosampler BONBON sampled air masses with very high molecular Hydrogen, extremely low SF6 and enhanced CO values on 6 March at about 25 km altitude. Finally, the MIPAS (Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding) Fourier Transform Infra-Red (FTIR) spectrometer showed NOy values which are significantly higher than NOy* (the NOy derived from a correlation between N2O and NOy under undisturbed conditions), on 21 and 22 March in a layer centred at 22 km altitude. Thus, the mesospheric air seems to have been present in a layer descending from about 30 km in late January to 25 km altitude in early March and about 22 km altitude on 20 March. We present corroborating evidence from a model study using the KASIMA (KArlsruhe Simulation model of the Middle Atmosphere) model that also shows a layer of mesospheric air, which descended into the stratosphere in November and early December 2002, before the minor warming which occurred in late December 2002 lead to a descent of upper stratospheric air, cutting of a layer in which mesospheric air is present. This layer then descended inside the vortex over the course of the winter. The same feature is found in trajectory calculations, based on a large number of trajectories started in the vicinity of the observations on 6 March. Based on the difference between the mean age derived from SF6 (which has an irreversible mesospheric loss) and from CO2 (whose mesospheric loss is much smaller and reversible) we estimate that the fraction of mesospheric air in the layer observed on 6 March, must have been somewhere between 35% and 100%.
Midlatitude ClO during the maximum atmospheric chlorine burden: in situ balloon measurements and model simulations
- Chlorine monoxide (ClO) plays a key role in stratospheric ozone loss processes at midlatitudes. We present two balloonborne in situ measurements of ClO conducted in northern hemisphere midlatitudes during the period of the maximum of total inorganic chlorine loading in the atmosphere. Both ClO measurements were conducted on board the TRIPLE balloon payload, launched in November 1996 in Le´on, Spain, and in May 1999 in Aire sur l’Adour, France. For both flights a ClO daylight and night time vertical profile could be derived over an altitude range of approximately 15–31 km. ClO mixing ratios are compared to model simulations performed with the photochemical box model version of the Chemical Lagrangian Model of the Stratosphere (CLaMS). Simulations along 24-h backward trajectories were performed to study the diurnal variation of ClO in the midlatitude lower stratosphere. Model simulations for the flight launched in Aire sur l’Adour 1999 show a good agreement with the ClO measurements. For the flight launched in Le´on 1996, a similar good agreement is found, except at around ~ 650 K potential temperature (~26km altitude). However, a tendency is found that for solar zenith angles greater than 86°–87° the simulated ClO mixing ratios substantially overestimate measured ClO by approximately a factor of 2.5 or more for both flights. Therefore we conclude that no indication can be deduced from the presented ClO measurements that substantial uncertainties exist in midlatitude chlorine chemistry of the stratosphere. An exception is the situation at solar zenith angles greater than 86°–87° where model simulations substantial overestimate ClO observations.
First atmospheric observations of three chlorofluorocarbons
Johannes Christian Laube
- We report the first atmospheric observations of the Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) trifluorochloroethene, 3-chloropentafluoropropene and 4,4-dichlorohexafluoro-1-butene by means of Gas Chromatography with Electron Capture and Mass Spectrometric detection (GC-ECD-MS) in air samples taken at the Taunus Observatory operated by the University of Frankfurt (Main) and the Jungfraujoch High Altitude Research Station in Switzerland. These substances belong to a class of CFCs containing a double bond and are suspected to originate from the production and thermal degradation of widely used fluoropolymers like polychlorotrifluoroethene (PCTFE). Their atmospheric lifetimes are expected to be rather short. A quantitative calibration could only be derived for trifluorochloroethene but not for the other species by now. Thus, we use a relative sensitivity method to get a first indication of the observed atmospheric abundances. Identification was possible because of an air plume containing high concentrations of these substances. We suggest that the abundances found on this occasion originated from a local source. However, we have also observed the novel CFCs in air masses representative of background conditions, though with much lower concentrations. These species and some of their degradation products are toxic and could also be relevant for stratospheric and tropospheric ozone depletion.
Global distribution of mean age of stratospheric air from MIPAS SF6 measurements
G. P. Stiller
Thomas von Clarmann
- Global distributions of profiles of sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) have been retrieved from limb emission spectra recorded by the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) on Envisat covering the period September 2002 to March 2004. Individual SF6 profiles have a precision of 0.5 pptv below 25 km altitude and a vertical resolution of 4–6 km up to 35 km altitude. These data have been validated versus in situ observations obtained during balloon flights of a cryogenic whole-air sampler. For the tropical troposphere a trend of 0.230±0.008 pptv/yr has been derived from the MIPAS data, which is in excellent agreement with the trend from ground-based flask and in situ measurements from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Earth System Research Laboratory, Global Monitoring Division. For the data set currently available, based on at least three days of data per month, monthly 5° latitude mean values have a 1 o standard error of 1%. From the global SF6 distributions, global daily and monthly distributions of the apparent mean age of air are inferred by application of the tropical tropospheric trend derived from MIPAS data. The inferred mean ages are provided for the full globe up to 90° N/S, and have a 1 o standard error of 0.25 yr. They range between 0 (near the tropical tropopause) and 7 years (except for situations of mesospheric intrusions) and agree well with earlier observations. The seasonal variation of the mean age of stratospheric air indicates episodes of severe intrusion of mesospheric air during each Northern and Southern polar winter observed, long-lasting remnants of old, subsided polar winter air over the spring and summer poles, and a rather short period of mixing with midlatitude air and/or upward transport during fall in October/November (NH) and April/May (SH), respectively, with small latitudinal gradients, immediately before the new polar vortex starts to form. The mean age distributions further confirm that SF6 is destroyed in the mesosphere to a considerable degree. Model calculations with the Karlsruhe simulation model of the middle atmosphere (KASIMA) chemical transport model agree well with observed global distributions of the mean age only if the SF6 sink reactions in the mesosphere are included in the model.
Validation of version-4.61 methane and nitrous oxide observed by MIPAS
Claude C. Camy-Peyret
Martine De Mazière
- The ENVISAT validation programme for the atmospheric instruments MIPAS, SCIAMACHY and GOMOS is based on a number of balloon-borne, aircraft, satellite and ground-based correlative measurements. In particular the activities of validation scientists were coordinated by ESA within the ENVISAT Stratospheric Aircraft and Balloon Campaign or ESABC. As part of a series of similar papers on other species [this issue] and in parallel to the contribution of the individual validation teams, the present paper provides a synthesis of comparisons performed between MIPAS CH4 and N2O profiles produced by the current ESA operational software (Instrument Processing Facility version 4.61 or IPF v4.61, full resolution MIPAS data covering the period 9 July 2002 to 26 March 2004) and correlative measurements obtained from balloon and aircraft experiments as well as from satellite sensors or from ground-based instruments. In the middle stratosphere, no significant bias is observed between MIPAS and correlative measurements, and MIPAS is providing a very consistent and global picture of the distribution of CH4 and N2O in this region. In average, the MIPAS CH4 values show a small positive bias in the lower stratosphere of about 5%. A similar situation is observed for N2O with a positive bias of 4%. In the lower stratosphere/upper troposphere (UT/LS) the individual used MIPAS data version 4.61 still exhibits some unphysical oscillations in individual CH4 and N2O profiles caused by the processing algorithm (with almost no regularization). Taking these problems into account, the MIPAS CH4 and N2O profiles are behaving as expected from the internal error estimation of IPF v4.61 and the estimated errors of the correlative measurements.