Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 22459-22504, 2009
www.atmos-chem-phys-discuss.net/9/22459/2009/
doi:10.5194/acpd-9-22459-2009
© Author(s) 2009. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Review Status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Impact of energetic particle precipitation on stratospheric polar constituents: an assessment using MIPAS data monitoring and assimilation
A. Robichaud1, R. Ménard1, S. Chabrillat2, J. de Grandpré1, Y. J. Rochon3, Y. Yang3, and C. Charette1
1Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate, Environment Canada, 2121 Trans-Canada Highway, Dorval (Québec), H9P 1J3, Canada
2Belgium Institute for Space Aeronomy Avenue Circulaire 3, 1180, Bruxelles, Belgium
3Atmospheric Science and Technology Directorate, Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Toronto (Ontario), M3H 5T4, Canada

Abstract. In 2003, strong geomagnetic events occurred which produced massive amounts of energetic particles penetrating the top of the atmospheric polar region, significantly perturbing its chemical state down to the middle stratosphere. These events and their effects are generally left unaccounted for in current models of stratospheric chemistry and large differences between observations and models are then noted. In this study, we use a coupled 3-D stratospheric dynamical-chemical model and assimilation system to ingest MIPAS temperature and chemical observations. The goal is to gain further understanding and to evaluate the impacts of EPP (energetic particle precipitation) on stratospheric polar chemistry. Moreover, we investigate the feasibility of assimilating valid "outlier" observations associated with such events. We focus our analysis on OmF (Observation minus Forecast) residuals as they filter out phenomena well reproduced by the model (such as gas phase chemistry, transport, diurnal and seasonal cycles) thus revealing a clear trace of the EPP. Inspection of OmF statistics in both the passive (without chemical assimilation) and active (with chemical assimilation) cases altogether provides a powerful diagnostic tool to assess the model and assimilation system. We also show that passive OmF can permit a satisfactory evaluation of the ozone partial column loss due to EPP effects. Results suggest a small but significant loss of 5–6 DU (Dobson Units) during an EPP-IE (EPP indirect effects) event in the Antarctic winter of 2003, and about only 1 DU for the SPE (solar proton event) of October/November 2003. Despite large differences between the model and MIPAS chemical observations (NO2, HNO3, CH4 and O3), we demonstrate that a careful assimilation of these constituents with only gas phase chemistry included in the model (i.e. no provision for EPP impacts) and with relaxed quality control nearly eliminated the short-term bias and significantly reduced the standard deviation error below 1 hPa.

Citation: Robichaud, A., Ménard, R., Chabrillat, S., de Grandpré, J., Rochon, Y. J., Yang, Y., and Charette, C.: Impact of energetic particle precipitation on stratospheric polar constituents: an assessment using MIPAS data monitoring and assimilation, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 9, 22459-22504, doi:10.5194/acpd-9-22459-2009, 2009.
 
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