O_3-N_2O correlations from the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment: revisiting a diagnostic of transport and chemistry in the stratosphere
Hegglin, M. I. and Shepherd, T. G. (2007) O_3-N_2O correlations from the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment: revisiting a diagnostic of transport and chemistry in the stratosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research, 112. D19301. ISSN 0148-0227
To link to this article DOI: 10.1029/2006JD008281
Our knowledge of stratospheric O3-N2O correlations is extended, and their potential for model-measurement comparison assessed, using data from the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE) satellite and the Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model (CMAM). ACE provides the first comprehensive data set for the investigation of interhemispheric, interseasonal, and height-resolved differences of the O_3-N_2O correlation structure. By subsampling the CMAM data, the representativeness of the ACE data is evaluated. In the middle stratosphere, where the correlations are not compact and therefore mainly reflect the data sampling, joint probability density functions provide a detailed picture of key aspects of transport and mixing, but also trace polar ozone loss. CMAM captures these important features, but exhibits a displacement of the tropical pipe into the Southern Hemisphere (SH). Below about 21 km, the ACE data generally confirm the compactness of the correlations, although chemical ozone loss tends to destroy the compactness during late winter/spring, especially in the SH. This allows a quantitative comparison of the correlation slopes in the lower and lowermost stratosphere (LMS), which exhibit distinct seasonal cycles that reveal the different balances between diabatic descent and horizontal mixing in these two regions in the Northern Hemisphere (NH), reconciling differences found in aircraft measurements, and the strong role of chemical ozone loss in the SH. The seasonal cycles are qualitatively well reproduced by CMAM, although their amplitude is too weak in the NH LMS. The correlation slopes allow a "chemical" definition of the LMS, which is found to vary substantially in vertical extent with season.