Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 9895-9916, 2010
© Author(s) 2010. This work is distributed
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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.
Will climate change increase ozone depletion from low-energy-electron precipitation?
A. J. G. Baumgaertner1, P. Jöckel1,2, M. Dameris2, and P. J. Crutzen1
1Max Planck Institute for Chemistry, 55020 Mainz, Germany
2Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt (DLR), Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, 82234 Weßling, Germany

Abstract. We investigate the effects of a strengthened Brewer-Dobson circulation on the transport of nitric oxide (NO) produced by energetic particle precipitation. During periods of high geomagnetic activity, low-energy-electron precipitation is responsible for winter time ozone loss in the polar middle atmosphere between 1 and 6 hPa. However, as climate change is expected to increase the strength of the Brewer-Dobson circulation, the enhancements of NOx concentrations are expected to be transported to lower altitudes in extra-tropical regions, becoming even more significant in the ozone budget. We use simulations with the chemistry climate model system ECHAM5/MESSy to compare present day effects of low-energy-electron precipitation with expected effects in a climate change scenario for the year 2100. In years of strong geomagnetic activity, similar to that observed in 2003, an additional polar ozone loss of up to 0.5 μmol/mol at 5 hPa is found. However, this would be approximately compensated by an ozone enhancement originating from a stronger poleward transport of ozone from lower latitudes caused by a strengthened Brewer-Dobson circulation, as well as by slower photochemical ozone loss reactions in a stratosphere cooled by risen greenhouse gas concentrations.

Citation: Baumgaertner, A. J. G., Jöckel, P., Dameris, M., and Crutzen, P. J.: Will climate change increase ozone depletion from low-energy-electron precipitation?, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 10, 9895-9916, doi:10.5194/acpd-10-9895-2010, 2010.
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