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Observed Loss of Polar Mesospheric Ozone Following Substorm-Driven Electron Precipitation

Chapman-Smith, Keeta; Seppala, Annika; Rodger, Craig J; Hendy, Aaron; Forsyth, Colin; (2023) Observed Loss of Polar Mesospheric Ozone Following Substorm-Driven Electron Precipitation. Geophysical Research Letters , 50 (17) , Article e2023GL104860. 10.1029/2023GL104860. Green open access

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Abstract

Several drivers cause precipitation of energetic electrons into the atmosphere. While some of these drivers are accounted for in proxies of energetic electron precipitation (EEP) used in atmosphere and climate models, it is unclear to what extent the proxies capture substorm‐induced EEP. The energies of these electrons allow them to reach altitudes between 55 and 95 km. EEP‐driven enhanced ionization is known to result in production of HOx and NOx, which catalytically destroy ozone. Substorm‐driven ozone loss has previously been simulated, but has not been observed before. We use mesospheric ozone observations from the Microwave Limb Sounder and Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars instruments, to investigate the loss of ozone during substorms. Following substorm onset, we find reductions of polar mesospheric (∼76 km) ozone by up to 21% on average. This is the first observational evidence demonstrating the importance of substorms on the ozone balance within the polar atmosphere.

Type: Article
Title: Observed Loss of Polar Mesospheric Ozone Following Substorm-Driven Electron Precipitation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1029/2023GL104860
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1029/2023GL104860
Language: English
Additional information: © 2023 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Physical Sciences, Geosciences, Multidisciplinary, Geology, substorms, electron precipitation, ozone, satellite observations, PARTICLE-PRECIPITATION, NORTHERN-HEMISPHERE, UPPER-STRATOSPHERE, SOLAR, IMPACT, GOMOS
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Space and Climate Physics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10177507
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