The contributions of chemistry and transport to low arctic ozone in March 2011...

Strahan, S., A. Douglass, and P. Newman (2013), The contributions of chemistry and transport to low arctic ozone in March 2011 derived from Aura MLS observations, J. Geophys. Res., 118, 1563-1576, doi:10.1002/jgrd.50181.

Stratospheric and total columns of Arctic O3 (63–90oN) in late March 2011 averaged 320 and 349 DU, respectively, 50–100 DU lower than any of the previous 6 years. We use Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) O3 observations to quantify the roles of chemistry and transport and find there are two major reasons for low O3 in March 2011: heterogeneous chemical loss and a late final warming that delayed the resupply of O3 until April. Daily vortex-averaged partial columns in the lowermost stratosphere ( p > 133 hPa) and middle stratosphere (p < 29 hPa) are largely unaffected by local heterogeneous chemistry, according to model calculations. Very weak transport into the vortex between late January and late March contributes to the observed low ozone. The lower stratospheric (LS) column (133–29 hPa, ~370–550 K) is affected by both heterogeneous chemistry and transport. Because MLS N2O data show strong isolation of the vortex, we estimate the contribution of vertical transport to LS O3 using the descent of vortex N2O profiles. Simulations with the Global Modeling Initiative (GMI) chemistry and transport model (CTM) with and without heterogeneous chemical reactions show 73 DU vortex averaged O3 loss; the loss derived from MLS O3 is 84 Æ 12 DU. The GMI simulation reproduces the observed O3 and N2O with little error and demonstrates credible transport and chemistry. Without heterogeneous chemical loss, March 2011 vortex O3 would have been at least 40 DU lower than climatology due to the late final warming that did not resupply O3 until mid-April.

PDF of Publication: 
Download from publisher's website.
Research Program: 
Modeling Analysis and Prediction Program (MAP)