Summertime stratospheric processes at northern mid-latitudes: comparisons between MANTRA balloon measurements and the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model
1Canadian Space Agency, St-Hubert, Quebec, Canada
2Department of Physics, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
3Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering, York University, Ontario, Canada
4Environment Canada, Canada
5Department of Atmosphere and Ocean, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
6Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Denver, CO, USA
Abstract. In this paper we report on a study conducted using the Middle Atmospheric Nitrogen TRend Assessment (MANTRA) balloon measurements of stratospheric constituents and temperature and the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model (CMAM) in order to evaluate the ability of the model to reproduce the measured fields and to thereby test our ability to describe mid-latitude summertime stratospheric processes. The MANTRA measurements used here are vertical profiles of ozone, temperature, N2O, CH4, HNO3, and HCl obtained during four campaigns, involving the launch of both ozonesondes and large balloons from Vanscoy, Saskatchewan, Canada (52° N, 107° W). The campaigns were conducted in August and September 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004. During late summer at mid-latitudes, the stratosphere is close to photochemical control, providing an ideal scenario for the study reported here. From this analysis we found that: (1) reducing the value for the vertical diffusion coefficient in CMAM to a more physically reasonable value results in the model better reproducing the measured profiles of long-lived species; (2) the existence of compact correlations among the constituents, as expected from independent measurements in the literature and from models, confirms the self-consistency of the MANTRA measurements; and (3) the 1998 ozone measurements show a narrow layer of low ozone centered near 25 km that is consistent with fossil debris from the polar vortex, suggesting that localized springtime ozone anomalies can persist through summer, affecting ozone levels at mid-latitudes.