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A method for estimating the extent of denitrification of Arctic polar vortex air from tracer-tracer scatter plots

Esler, JG; Waugh, DW; (2002) A method for estimating the extent of denitrification of Arctic polar vortex air from tracer-tracer scatter plots. J GEOPHYS RES-ATMOS , 107 (D13) , Article 4169. 10.1029/2001JD001071. Green open access

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Abstract

A method for estimating the extent of denitrification of Arctic polar vortex air is proposed. Previous estimates of denitrification using tracer-tracer scatter plots have not allowed for mixing-induced changes in tracer-tracer relationships in a sufficiently general way. This difficulty is overcome by constructing an artificial "reference tracer'' from a linear combination of other long-lived tracers. The reference tracer is designed so that, as far as possible, it has a linear canonical relationship with NOy in midlatitudes. A linear relationship is unaffected by mixing, so denitrification is apparent as deviations of vortex measurements from the linear midlatitude relationship. The method is first demonstrated using data from a chemical transport model in which no denitrification processes are present. It is then applied to balloon, aircraft and shuttle-borne measurements made before and during the breakdown of the Arctic vortex in 1992-1993 and 1996-1997. In each case the method indicates that little or no denitrification had occurred in any of the vortex air encountered. When the method is applied to the southern hemisphere vortex in 1994, by contrast, denitrified air is clearly seen to be present around 19-23 km in the vortex.

Type: Article
Title: A method for estimating the extent of denitrification of Arctic polar vortex air from tracer-tracer scatter plots
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1029/2001JD001071
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/2001JD001071
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright 2002 by the American Geophysical Union
Keywords: Denitrification, Stratosphere, Scatter plots, Arctic, Vortex, Ozone loss, Stratospheric abundances, Aircraft measurements, Profile observations, Vertical structure, Atmos measurements, Winter, Transport, N2O, Photochemistry
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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 Mathematics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/82574
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