Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 23539-23557, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
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Global distributions of acetone in the upper troposphere from MIPAS–E spectra
D. P. Moore1, J. J. Remedios1, and A. M. Waterfall2
1Earth Observation Science Group, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, UK
2STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Didcot, UK

Abstract. This study reports the first global measurements of acetone in the upper troposphere. Profiles are obtained between 6 and 15 km from measurements made by the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding onboard Envisat (MIPAS–E) from August 2003. The best accuracy and precision is obtained at lower altitudes in the mid-latitudes and poles. We report a strong hemispheric difference in the acetone volume mixing ratios (vmrs) with the highest average concentrations in the Northern Hemisphere (NH) mid-latitude upper troposphere of between 2000 ppt and 3000 ppt. These high distributions are possibly linked to higher vegetative emissions during the NH summer season. Globally, concentrations range between 750 ppt and 3000 ppt in the middle troposphere (300 to 500 hPa) and between 50 ppt and 2000 ppt in the upper troposphere (120 to 200 hPa). The results show the likely strong influence of mid-latitude and boreal processes on the acetone summertime distribution. Zonal distributions of acetone show that vmrs of the gas decrease rapidly with increasing altitude (decreasing pressure) but there is reversible transport between the upper troposphere and the lowermost stratosphere. Acetone vmrs remain fairly constant poleward of 45° S with vmrs between 400 ppt and 500 ppt. Northern Hemisphere vmrs poleward of 45° N are consistently higher than this on a day-to-day basis by between 200 ppt and 1000 ppt on average.

Citation: Moore, D. P., Remedios, J. J., and Waterfall, A. M.: Global distributions of acetone in the upper troposphere from MIPAS–E spectra, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 23539-23557, doi:10.5194/acpd-10-23539-2010, 2010.
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