Delivery of halogenated very short-lived substances from the West Indian Ocean to the stratosphere during Asian summer monsoon
Alina Fiehn1,2, Birgit Quack2, Helmke Hepach2,a, Steffen Fuhlbrügge2, Susann Tegtmeier2, Matthew Toohey2, Elliot Atlas3, and Kirstin Krüger11Meteorology and Oceanography Section, Department of Geosciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway 2GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Kiel, Germany 3Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, USA anow at: Environment Department, University of York, York, United Kingdom
Received: 05 Jan 2017 – Accepted for review: 11 Jan 2017 – Discussion started: 11 Jan 2017
Abstract. Halogenated very short-lived substances (VSLS) are naturally produced in the ocean and emitted to the atmosphere. When transported to the stratosphere, these compounds can have a significant influence on the ozone layer and climate. During a research cruise on RV Sonne in the subtropical and tropical West Indian Ocean in July and August 2014, we measured the VSLS, methyl iodide (CH3I) and for the first time bromoform (CHBr3) and dibromomethane (CH2Br2), in surface seawater and the marine atmosphere to derive their emission strengths. Using the Lagrangian transport model Flexpart with ERA-Interim meteorological fields, we calculated the direct contribution of observed VSLS emissions to the stratospheric halogen burden during Asian summer monsoon. Furthermore, we compare the in situ calculations with the interannual variability of transport from a larger area of the West Indian Ocean surface to the stratosphere for July 2000–2015. We found that the West Indian Ocean is a strong source region for CHBr3 (910 pmol m−2 h−1), very strong for CH2Br2 (930 pmol m−2 h−1), and average for CH3I (460 pmol m−2 h−1). The atmospheric transport from the tropical West Indian Ocean surface to the stratosphere experiences two main pathways. On very short timescales, especially relevant for the shortest-lived compound CH3I (3.5 days lifetime), convection above the Indian Ocean lifts oceanic air masses and VSLS towards the tropopause. On a longer timescale, the Asian summer monsoon circulation transports oceanic VSLS towards India and Bay of Bengal, where they are lifted with the monsoon convection and reach stratospheric levels in the southeastern part of the Asian monsoon anticyclone. This transport pathway is more important for the longer-lived brominated compounds (17 and 150 days lifetime for CHBr3 and CH2Br2). The entrainment of CHBr3 and CH3I from the West Indian Ocean to the stratosphere during Asian summer monsoon is less than from previous cruises in the tropical West Pacific Ocean during boreal autumn/early winter, but higher than from the tropical Atlantic during boreal summer. In contrast, the projected CH2Br2 entrainment was very high because of the high emissions during the West Indian Ocean cruise. The 16-year July time series shows highest interannual variability for the short-lived CH3I and lowest for the long-lived CH2Br2. During this time period, a small increase of VSLS entrainment from the West Indian Ocean through the Asian monsoon to the stratosphere is found. Overall, this study confirms that the subtropical and tropical West Indian Ocean is an important source region of halogenated VSLS, especially CH2Br2, to the troposphere and stratosphere during the Asian summer monsoon.
Fiehn, A., Quack, B., Hepach, H., Fuhlbrügge, S., Tegtmeier, S., Toohey, M., Atlas, E., and Krüger, K.: Delivery of halogenated very short-lived substances from the West Indian Ocean to the stratosphere during Asian summer monsoon, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., doi:10.5194/acp-2017-8, in review, 2017.