Model simulations of stratospheric ozone loss caused by enhanced mesospheric NOx during Arctic Winter 2003/2004
1Research Centre Jülich, Institute for Stratospheric Research (ICG-1), Jülich, Germany
2Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC, Granada, Spain
3Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe, Germany
Abstract. Satellite observations show that the enormous solar proton events (SPEs) in October–November 2003 had significant effects on the composition of the stratosphere and mesosphere in the polar regions. After the October–November 2003 SPEs and in early 2004 significant enhancements of NOx(=NO+NO2) in the upper stratosphere and lower mesosphere in the Northern Hemisphere were observed by several satellite instruments. Here we present global full chemistry calculations performed with the CLaMS model to study the impact of mesospheric NOx intrusions on Arctic polar ozone loss processes in the stratosphere. Several model simulations are preformed with different upper boundary conditions for NOx at 2000 K potential temperature (≈50 km altitude). In our study we focus on the impact of the non-local production of NOx which means the downward transport of enhanced NOx from the mesosphere in the stratosphere. The local production of NOx in the stratosphere is neglected. Our findings show that intrusions of mesospheric air into the stratosphere, transporting high burdens of NOx, affect the composition of the Arctic polar region down to about 400 K (≈17–18 km). We compare our simulated NOx and O3 mixing ratios with satellite observations by ACE-FTS and MIPAS processed at IMK/IAA and derive an upper limit for the ozone loss caused by enhanced mesospheric NOx. Our findings show that in the Arctic polar vortex (Equivalent Lat.>70° N) the accumulated column ozone loss between 350–2000 K potential temperature (≈14–50 km altitude) caused by the SPEs in October–November 2003 in the stratosphere is up to 3.3 DU with an upper limit of 5.5 DU until end of November. Further we found that about 10 DU but lower than 18 DU accumulated ozone loss additionally occurs until end of March 2004 caused by the transport of mesospheric NOx-rich air in early 2004. In the lower stratosphere (350–700 K≈14–27 km altitude) the SPEs of October–November 2003 have negligible small impact on ozone loss processes until end of November and the mesospheric NOx intrusions in early 2004 yield ozone loss about 3.5 DU, but clearly lower than 6.5 DU until end of March. Overall, the non-local production of NOx is an additional variability to the existing variations of the ozone loss observed in the Arctic.