Atmos. Chem. Phys., 6, 1567-1584, 2006
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The present paper (part I) is devoted to the analysis of the ozone precursors (CO, NOx and non-methane volatile organic compounds) and HOx in the UTLS. The simulation results show that the distribution of CO with altitude is closely related to the upward convective motions and consecutive outflow at the top of the convective cells leading to a bulge of CO between 7 km altitude and the tropopause (around 17 km altitude). The model results for CO are consistent with satellite-borne measurements at 700 hPa. The simulation also indicates enhanced amounts of NOx up to 2 ppbv in the 7–17 km altitude layer mainly produced by the lightning associated with the intense convective activity. For insoluble non-methane volatile organic compounds, the convective activity tends to significantly increase their amount in the 7–17 km layer by dynamical effects. During daytime in the presence of lightning NOx, this bulge is largely reduced in the upper part of the layer for reactive species (e.g. isoprene, ethene) because of their reactions with OH that is increased on average during daytime. Lightning NOx also impacts on the oxydizing capacity of the upper troposphere by reducing on average HOx, HO2, H2O2 and organic hydroperoxides. During the simulation time, the impact of convection on the air composition of the lower stratosphere is negligible for all ozone precursors although several of the simulated convective cells nearly reach the tropopause. There is no significant transport from the upper troposphere to the lower stratosphere, the isentropic barrier not being crossed by convection.
The impact of the increase of ozone precursors and HOx in the upper troposphere on the ozone budget in the LS is discussed in part II of this series of papers.