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© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 23 Nov 2018

Research article | 23 Nov 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).

Reactive nitrogen (NOy) and ozone responses to energetic electron precipitation during Southern Hemisphere winter

Pavle Arsenovic1,a, Alessandro Damiani2, Eugene Rozanov1,3,4, Bernd Funke5, Andrea Stenke1, and Thomas Peter1 Pavle Arsenovic et al.
  • 1Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science ETH, Zürich, Switzerland
  • 2Center for Environmental Remote Sensing (CEReS), Chiba University, Chiba, Japan
  • 3Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos – World Radiation Center, Davos, Switzerland
  • 4Pushkov Institute of Terrestrial Magnetism, Ionosphere, and Radio Wave Propagation, Russian Academy of Sciences, Kaliningrad, Russia
  • 5Instituto de Astrofisica de Andalucía, CSIC, Granada, Spain
  • anow at: Empa, Dübendorf, Switzerland

Abstract. Energetic particle precipitation (EPP) affects the chemistry of the polar middle atmosphere by producing reactive nitrogen (NOy) and hydrogen (HOx) species, which then catalytically destroy ozone. Recently, there have been major advances in constraining these particle impacts through a parametrization based on high quality observations. Here we investigate the effects of low (auroral) and middle (radiation belt) energy range electrons, separately and in combination, on reactive nitrogen and hydrogen species as well as on ozone during Southern Hemisphere winters from 2002 to 2010 using the chemistry-climate model SOCOL3-MPIOM. Our results show that, in absence of solar proton events, low energy electrons produce the majority of NOy in the polar mesosphere and stratosphere. In the polar vortex, NOy subsides and affects ozone at lower altitudes, down to 10 hPa. Comparing a year with high electron precipitation with a quiescent period, we found large ozone depletion in the mesosphere; as the anomaly propagates downward, 15 % less ozone is found in the stratosphere during winter, which is confirmed by satellite observations. Only with both low and middle energy electrons, our model reproduces the observed stratospheric ozone anomaly.

Pavle Arsenovic et al.
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Status: final response (author comments only)
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Pavle Arsenovic et al.
Pavle Arsenovic et al.
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Short summary
Low energy electrons are the dominant source of odd nitrogen in the mesosphere and stratosphere in polar winter in the geomagnetically active periods. However, the observed EPP-induced stratospheric ozone anomalies can be reproduced only when accounting for both low and middle range energy electrons in the chemistry-climate model. Therefore we recommend including both low and middle range energy electrons in chemistry-climate models.
Low energy electrons are the dominant source of odd nitrogen in the mesosphere and stratosphere...