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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
© Author(s) 2016. This work is distributed
under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
03 Jun 2016
Review status
A revision of this discussion paper was accepted for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Effect of volcanic aerosol on stratospheric NO2 and N2O5 from 2002–2014 as measured by Odin-OSIRIS and Envisat-MIPAS
Cristen Adams1,2, Adam E. Bourassa1, Chris A. McLinden3, Chris E. Sioris3, Thomas von Clarmann4, Bernd Funke5, Landon A. Rieger1, and Douglas A. Degenstein1 1Institute of Space and Atmospheric Studies, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
2Alberta Environmental Monitoring, Evaluation, and Reporting Agency, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
3Environment and Climate Change Canada, Downsview, Ontario, Canada
4Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute for Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe, Germany
5Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía, CSIC, Granada, Spain
Abstract. Following the large volcanic eruptions of Pinatubo in 1991 and El Chichón in 1982, decreases in stratospheric NO2 associated with enhanced aerosol were observed. The Optical Spectrograph and InfraRed Imaging Spectrometer (OSIRIS) likewise measured widespread enhancements of stratospheric aerosol following seven volcanic eruptions between 2002 and 2014, although the magnitudes of these eruptions were all much smaller than the Pinatubo and El Chichón eruptions. In order to isolate and quantify the relationship between volcanic aerosol and NO2, NO2 anomalies were calculated using measurements from OSIRIS and the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS). In the tropics, variability due to the quasi-biennial oscillation was subtracted from the timeseries. OSIRIS profile measurements indicate that the strongest relationships between NO2 and volcanic aerosol extinction were for the layer ~ 3–7 km above the tropopause, where OSIRIS stratospheric NO2 partial columns for ~ 3–7 km above the tropopause were found to be smaller than baseline levels during these aerosol enhancements by up to ~ 60 % with typical Pearson correlation coefficients of R ~ −0.7. MIPAS also observed decreases in NO2 partial columns during periods of affected by volcanic aerosol, with percent differences of up to ~ 25 %. An even stronger relationship was observed between OSIRIS aerosol optical depth and MIPAS N2O5 partial columns, with R ~ −0.9, although no link with MIPAS HNO3 was observed. The variation of OSIRIS NO2 with increasing aerosol was found to be quantitatively consistent with simulations from a photochemical box model in terms of both magnitude and degree of non-linearity.

Citation: Adams, C., Bourassa, A. E., McLinden, C. A., Sioris, C. E., von Clarmann, T., Funke, B., Rieger, L. A., and Degenstein, D. A.: Effect of volcanic aerosol on stratospheric NO2 and N2O5 from 2002–2014 as measured by Odin-OSIRIS and Envisat-MIPAS, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2016-242, in review, 2016.
Cristen Adams et al.
Cristen Adams et al.


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Short summary
We measured the relationship between volcanic aerosol and trace gases in the stratosphere using the OSIRIS and MIPAS satellite instruments between 2002 and 2014. We found that levels of stratospheric NO2 and N2O5 both decreased significantly in the presence of volcanic aerosol. These decreases were consistent with modelling results. This is the first study to measure this effect since the very large Pinatubo and El Chichón eruptions in 1991 and 1982, respectively.
We measured the relationship between volcanic aerosol and trace gases in the stratosphere using...