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Volume 11, issue 1
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 241-256, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 11, 241-256, 2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research article 12 Jan 2011

Research article | 12 Jan 2011

Evidence for heterogeneous chlorine activation in the tropical UTLS

M. von Hobe1, J.-U. Grooß1, G. Günther1, P. Konopka1, I. Gensch1, M. Krämer1, N. Spelten1, A. Afchine1, C. Schiller1, A. Ulanovsky2, N. Sitnikov2, G. Shur2, V. Yushkov2, F. Ravegnani3, F. Cairo3, A. Roiger4, C. Voigt4, H. Schlager4, R. Weigel5, W. Frey5, S. Borrmann5, R. Müller1, and F. Stroh1 M. von Hobe et al.
  • 1Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Institute for Energy and Climate Research – Stratosphere (IEK-7), Jülich, Germany
  • 2Central Aerological Observatory, Dolgoprudny, Moscow, Russia
  • 3Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate CNR-ISAC, Bologna, Italy
  • 4Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 5Johannes Gutenberg Universität Mainz, Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Mainz, Germany

Abstract. Airborne in-situ observations of ClO in the tropics were made during the TROCCINOX (Aracatuba, Brazil, February 2005) and SCOUT-O3 (Darwin, Australia, November/December 2005) field campaigns. While during most flights significant amounts of ClO (≈10–20 parts per trillion, ppt) were present only in aged stratospheric air, instances of enhanced ClO mixing ratios of up to 40 ppt – significantly exceeding those expected from gas phase chemistry – were observed in air masses of a more tropospheric character. Most of these observations are associated with low temperatures or with the presence of cirrus clouds (often both), suggesting that cirrus ice particles and/or liquid aerosol at low temperatures may promote significant heterogeneous chlorine activation in the tropical upper troposphere lower stratosphere (UTLS). In two case studies, particularly high levels of ClO observed were reproduced by chemistry simulations only under the assumption that significant denoxification had occurred in the observed air. However, to reproduce the ClO observations in these simulations, O3 mixing ratios higher than observed had to be assumed, and at least for one of these flights, a significant denoxification is in contrast to the observed NO levels, suggesting that the coupling of chlorine and nitrogen compounds in the tropical UTLS may not be completely understood.

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