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© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: research article 12 Aug 2019

Submitted as: research article | 12 Aug 2019

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

Very high stratospheric influence observed in the free troposphere over the Northern Alps – just a local phenomenon?

Thomas Trickl1, Hannes Vogelmann1, Ludwig Ries2, and Michael Sprenger3 Thomas Trickl et al.
  • 1Karlsruher Institut für Technologie, Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung, IMK-IFU, Kreuzeckbahnstr. 19, 82467 Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
  • 2Umweltbundesamt II 4.5, Plattform Zugspitze, GAW-Globalobservatorium Zugspitze-Hohenpeißenberg, Schneefernerhaus, 82475 Zugspitze, Germany
  • 3Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich, Institut für Atmosphäre und Klima, Universitätstraße 16, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland

Abstract. The atmospheric composition is strongly influenced by a change in atmospheric dynamics, which is potentially related to climate change. A prominent example is the doubling of the stratospheric ozone component at the summit station Zugspitze (2962 m a.s.l., Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany) between the mid-seventies and 2005, roughly from 11 ppb to 23 ppb (43 %). Systematic efforts for identifying and quantifying this influence have been made since the late 1990s. Meanwhile, routine lidar measurements of ozone and water vapour carried out at Garmisch-Partenkirchen (German Alps) since 2007, combined with in-situ and radiosonde data and trajectory calculations, have revealed that stratospheric intrusion layers are present on 84 % of the yearly measurement days. At Alpine summit stations the frequency of intrusions exhibits a seasonal cycle with a pronounced summer minimum that is reproduced by the lidar measurements. The summer minimum disappears if one looks at the free troposphere as a whole. The mid- and upper-tropospheric intrusion layers seem to be dominated by very long descent on up to hemispheric scale in an altitude range starting at about 4.5 km a.s.l. Without interfering air flows, these layers remain very dry, typically with RH ≤ 5 % at the centre of the intrusion. Pronounced ozone maxima observed above Garmisch-Partenkirchen have been mostly related to a stratospheric origin rather than to long-range transport from remote boundary layers. Our findings and results for other latitudes seem to support the idea of a rather high contribution of ozone import from the stratosphere to tropospheric ozone.

Thomas Trickl et al.
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Thomas Trickl et al.
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Short summary
Ozone transfer from the stratosphere to the troposphere seems to to have grown over the past decade, parallel to global warming. Lidar measurements, carried out in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, between 2007 and 2016 show a considerable stratospheric influence in the free troposphere over that sites, with observations of stratospheric layers in the troposphere on 84 % of the measurements days. This high fraction is almost reached also in North America, but frequently not throughout the year.
Ozone transfer from the stratosphere to the troposphere seems to to have grown over the past...