Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Abstract In this paper, we show that the rate of ozone loss in both polar and mid-latitudes, derived from ozonesonde and satellite data, has almost the same vertical distribution (although opposite sense) to that of ozone laminae abundance. Ozone laminae appear in the lower stratosphere soon after the polar vortex is established in autumn, increase in number throughout the winter and reach a maximum abundance in late winter or spring. We indicate a possible coupling between mid-winter, sudden stratospheric warmings (when the vortex is weakened or disrupted) and the abundance of ozone laminae using a 23-year record of ozonesonde data from the World Ozone Data Center in Canada combined with monthly-mean January polar temperatures at 30 hPa. Results are presented from an experiment conducted during the winter of 1994/95, in phase II of the Second European Stratospheric And Mid-latitude Experiment (SESAME), in which 93 ozone-enhanced laminae of polar origin observed by ozonesondes at different time and locations are linked by diabatic trajectories, enabling them to be probed twice or more. It is shown that, in general, ozone concentrations inside laminae fall progressively with time, mixing irreversibly with mid-latitude air on time-scales of a few weeks. A particular set of laminae which advected across Europe during mid February 1995 are examined in detail. These laminae were observed almost simultaneously at seven ozonesonde stations, providing information on their spatial scales. The development of these laminae has been modelled using the Contour Advection algorithm of Norton (1994), adding support to the concept that many laminae are extrusions of vortex air. Finally, a photochemical trajectory model is used to show that, if the air in the laminae is chemically activated, it will impact on mid-latitude ozone concentrations. An estimate is made of the potential number of ozone molecules lost each winter via this mechanism.
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