Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 32283-32300, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed
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Interaction of chemical and transport processes during the formation of the Arctic stratospheric polar vortex
D. Blessmann, I. Wohltmann, R. Lehmann, and M. Rex
Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany

Abstract. Dynamical processes during the formation phase of the Arctic polar vortex can introduce considerable interannual variability in the amount of ozone that is incorporated into the vortex. Chemistry in autumn and early winter tends to remove part of that variability because ozone relaxes towards equilibrium. As a quantitative measure of how relevant variable dynamical processes during vortex formation are for the winter ozone abundances above the Arctic we analyze which fraction of an ozone anomaly induced dynamically during vortex formation persists until mid-winter. The work is based on the Lagrangian Chemistry Transport Model ATLAS. Model runs for the winter 1999–2000 are used to assess the fate of an ozone anomaly artificially introduced during the vortex formation phase. From these runs we get detailed information about the persistence of the induced ozone variability over time, height and latitude. Induced ozone variability survives longer inside the polar vortex compared to outside. At 540 K inside the polar vortex half of the initial perturbation survives until mid-winter (3 January) with a rapid fall off towards higher levels, mainly due to NOx induced chemistry. At 660 K 10% of the initial perturbation survives. Above 750 K the signal falls to values below 0.5%. Hence, dynamically induced ozone variability from the vortex formation phase can not significantly contribute to mid-winter variability at levels above 750 K. At lower levels increasingly larger fractions of the initial perturbation survive, reaching 90% at 450 K. In this vertical range dynamical processes during the vortex formation phase are crucial for the ozone abundance in mid-winter.

Citation: Blessmann, D., Wohltmann, I., Lehmann, R., and Rex, M.: Interaction of chemical and transport processes during the formation of the Arctic stratospheric polar vortex, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 11, 32283-32300, doi:10.5194/acpd-11-32283-2011, 2011.
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