Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 24595-24620, 2010
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/10/24595/2010/
doi:10.5194/acpd-10-24595-2010
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Measurement from sun-synchronous orbit of a reaction rate controlling the diurnal NOx cycle in the stratosphere
J. C. Walker and A. Dudhia
Atmospheric, Oceanic and Planetary Physics, Clarendon Laboratory, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3PU, UK

Abstract. A reaction rate associated with the nighttime formation of an important diurnally varying species, N2O5, is determined from MIPAS-ENVISAT. During the day, photolysis of N2O5 in the stratosphere contributes to nitrogen-catalysed ozone destruction. However, at night concentrations of N2O5 increase, temporarily sequestering reactive NOx (NO + NO2), in a natural cycle which regulates the majority of stratospheric ozone. In this paper, the reaction rate controlling the formation of N2O5 is determined for the first time from an instrument aboard a sun-synchronous platform. The observed reaction rate is compared to the currently accepted rate determined from laboratory measurements. Good agreement is obtained between the observed and experimental reaction rates down to temperatures as low as 205 K for the first time.

Citation: Walker, J. C. and Dudhia, A.: Measurement from sun-synchronous orbit of a reaction rate controlling the diurnal NOx cycle in the stratosphere, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 24595-24620, doi:10.5194/acpd-10-24595-2010, 2010.
 
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