Chemical Evolution of the Exceptional Arctic Stratospheric Winter 2019/2020 Compared to Previous Arctic and Antarctic Winters


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Ingo.Wohltmann [ at ] awi.de

Abstract

The winter 2019/2020 showed the lowest ozone mixing ratios ever observed in the Arctic winter stratosphere. It was the coldest Arctic stratospheric winter on record and was characterized by an unusually strong and long-lasting polar vortex. We study the chemical evolution and ozone depletion in the winter 2019/2020 using the global Chemistry and Transport Model ATLAS. We examine whether the chemical processes in 2019/2020 are more characteristic of typical conditions in Antarctic winters or in average Arctic winters. Model runs for the winter 2019/2020 are compared to simulations of the Arctic winters 2004/2005, 2009/2010, and 2010/2011 and of the Antarctic winters 2006 and 2011, to assess differences in chemical evolution in winters with different meteorological conditions. In some respects, the winter 2019/2020 (and also the winter 2010/2011) was a hybrid between Arctic and Antarctic conditions, for example, with respect to the fraction of chlorine deactivation into HCl versus ClONO2, the amount of denitrification, and the importance of the heterogeneous HOCl + HCl reaction for chlorine activation. The pronounced ozone minimum of less than 0.2 ppm at about 450 K potential temperature that was observed in about 20% of the polar vortex area in 2019/2020 was caused by exceptionally long periods in the history of these air masses with low temperatures in sunlight. Based on a simple extrapolation of observed loss rates, only an additional 21-46 h spent below the upper temperature limit for polar stratospheric cloud formation and in sunlight would have been necessary to reduce ozone to near zero values (0.05 ppm) in these parts of the vortex.



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Article
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Helmholtz Cross Cutting Activity (2021-2027)
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ISI/Scopus peer-reviewed
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Published
Eprint ID
54619
DOI 10.1029/2020JD034356

Cite as
Wohltmann, I. , von der Gathen, P. , Lehmann, R. , Deckelmann, H. , Manney, G. L. , Davies, J. , Tarasick, D. , Jepsen, N. , Kivi, R. , Lyall, N. and Rex, M. (2021): Chemical Evolution of the Exceptional Arctic Stratospheric Winter 2019/2020 Compared to Previous Arctic and Antarctic Winters , Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 126 (18) . doi: 10.1029/2020JD034356


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