Tropospheric ozone depletion in polar regions A comparison of observations in the Arctic and Antarctic

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  • T ellus (1998), 50B, 3450 Copyright Munksgaard, 1998Printed in UK all rights reserved TELLUS

    ISSN 02806509

    Tropospheric ozone depletion in polar regionsA comparison of observations in the Arctic and Antarctic

    By S. WESSEL1*, S. AOKI2 , P. WINKLER3 , R. WELLER4 , A. HERBER1 , H. GERNANDT1 andO. SCHREMS4 , 1Alfred-Wegener-Institute of Polar and Marine Research, Research Department Potsdam,Potsdam, Germany, 2Centre of Atmospheric and Oceanic Studies, T ohoku University, Sendai, Japan,3Deutscher Wetterdienst, Hohenpeissenberg, Germany, 4Alfred-Wegener-Institute of Polar and Marine

    Research, Bremerhaven, Germany

    (Manuscript received 15 January 1997; in final form 1 September 1997)


    The dynamics of tropospheric ozone variations in the Arctic (Ny-Alesund, Spitsbergen, 79N,12E) and in Antarctica (Neumayer-Station, 70S, 8W) were investigated for the period January1993 to June 1994. Continuous surface ozone measurements, vertical profiles of troposphericozone by ECC-sondes, meteorological parameters, trajectories as well as ice charts were avail-able for analysis. Information about the origins of the advected air masses were derived from5-days back-trajectory analyses. Seven tropospheric ozone minima were observed at Ny-Alesundin the period from March to June 1994, during which the surface ozone mixing ratios decreasedfrom typical background concentrations around 40 ppbv to values between 1 ppbv and 17 ppbv(1 ppbv O3 corresponds to one part of O3 in 109 parts of ambient air by volume). Four surfaceozone minima were detected in August and September 1993 at Neumayer-Station with absoluteozone mixing ratios between 8 ppbv and 14 ppbv throughout the minima. At both measuringstations, the ozone minima were detected during polar spring. They covered periods between1 and 4 days (Arctic) and 1 and 2 days (Antarctica), respectively. Furthermore, it was foundthat in both polar regions, the ozone depletion events were confined to the planetary boundarylayer with a capping temperature inversion at the upper limit of the ozone poor air mass. Insidethis ozone- poor layer, a stable stratification was obvious. Back-trajectory analyses revealedthat the ozone-depleted air masses were transported across the marine, ice-covered regions ofthe central Arctic and the South Atlantic Ocean. These comparable observations in both polarregions suggest a similar ozone destruction mechanism which is responsible for an efficientozone decay. Nevertheless, distinct differences could be found regarding the vertical structureof the ozone depleted layers. In the Arctic, the ozone-poor layer developed from the surface upto a temperature inversion, whereas in the Antarctic, elevated ozone-depleted air masses dueto the influence of catabatic surface winds, were observed.

    1. Introduction ozone mixing ratios decreased from around40 ppbv to values close to the detection limit of2 ppbv within a few hours (Barrie et al., 1988;It has been found that the Arctic spring isOltmans et al., 1989). This phenomenon could becharacterised by a pronounced variability of sur-observed at several Arctic sites like Barrow, Alaskaface ozone concentrations, accompanied by(71N, 156W) (Oltmans et al., 1989) or Alert,sudden strong ozone depletion events. DuringCanada (82N, 62W) (Barrie et al., 1988) wherethese non-periodical depletion events, the surfaceit was first noticed during spring 1985 (Botten-heim et al., 1986). Continuous surface ozone* Corresponding author.

    Tellus 50B (1998), 1

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    measurements at Ny-Alesund, Spitsbergen (79N, Ocean as a marine source of the ozone depletedair masses (Anlauf et al., 1994).12E), carried out since 1988 by the Norwegian

    For Antarctica, surface ozone measurements atInstitute for Air Research (NILU, Kjeller) andthe Japanese Syowa Station (69S, 39E) and thesince 1992 by the National Institute of PolarGerman Neumayer-Station (70S, 8W) indicatedResearch (NIPR, Tokyo), also showed similarcomparable low ozone events as they wereozone depletion events during springtime (Solbergobserved in the Arctic (Murayama et al., 1992;et al., 1996; Wessel et al., 1997).Wyputta, 1994).Coinciding with the strong decrease of surface

    The topic of our research activities was to studyozone, an increase of particulate and gaseousthe dynamics of tropospheric ozone distributionsbromine compounds could be observed (Barriein the Arctic (Ny-Alesund, Spitsbergen) as well aset al., 1988). Based on this anti-correlationin Antarctica at the Neumayer-Station during thebetween surface ozone and bromine compoundstransition from polar night to polar day. Thea catalytic photochemical ozone destruction mech-crucial point of our analysis are detailed caseanism, including reactive bromine, was proposedstudies for typical tropospheric ozone minima(Barrie et al., 1988). The primary source of ozoneobserved in the Arctic and in the Antarctic, fol-depleting bromine compounds is not yet clarified.lowed by a more general comparison of bothThere are some indications pointing to biogenicregions considering previous studies of otherbrominated organic compounds like bromoform,groups. Emphasis will be laid on the dynamicalreleased by macro algae (Barrie et al., 1988), orprocesses during the tropospheric ozone minima.seasalt aerosols which can liberate reactive inor-

    ganic bromine by heterogeneous reactions with

    nitric oxides (Finlayson-Pitts et al., 1990), HSO5 2. Instrumentation and data acquisitionor HO2-radicals (Mozurkewich, 1995) and byphotoinduced conversion involving dissolved

    The Arctic observation site is located inorganic materials or transition metals (McConnell

    Ny-Alesund, Spitsbergen (79N, 12E). The meas-et al., 1992). Beside these primary sources of

    urements described below were conducted at tworeactive bromine, a regeneration of nonreactive

    locations, the Japanese station Rabben which isbromine reservoir substances by catalytic pro-

    approximately 2 km south-east of the villagecesses in the gas phase and on aerosol or ice

    Ny-Alesund at 40 m above sea level (a.s.l.) and thesurfaces is necessary to explain the observed ozone

    German Koldewey-Station, located in Ny-Alesunddestruction (Tang and McConnell, 1996; LeBras

    11 m a.s.l.and Platt, 1995; Fan and Jacob, 1992). The influ-

    At the Koldewey-Station, ozone sondes wereence of anthropogenic pollutants like sulphate launched usually once a week and up to two timesaerosols, which can act as a potential surface for a day when tropospheric ozone minima could beheterogeneous reactions (Fan and Jacob, 1992) is observed. ECC- (electrochemical concentrationnot yet clarified. cell ) sondes were used together with modified

    In addition to photochemical reactions which RS80 radiosondes (both Vaisala) on TOTEX TAare responsible for the destruction of ozone, 1200 balloons. The ECC-sondes were prepareddynamic processes, influencing the ozone depleted according to the detailed instructions given byair mass, are also of great importance for the Komhyr (1986). After launch the ECC-current,observed surface ozone destruction during polar which is proportional to the ambient ozone partialspring. Measurements of the vertical distribution pressure times the rate of the air flow, was meas-of tropospheric ozone during ozone minima by ured continuously. The dependence of the ECC-tethersondes (Anlauf et al., 1994) and ozone sondes current from the electrolyte concentration is neg-(Solberg et al., 1996; Wessel et al., 1997) showed ligible: Doubling the KI concentration resultsa vertical extension of ozone depleted air masses in a signal enhancement of 5% (Komhyr, 1986).of typically several hundred meters. In general the Simultaneously, the meteorological data air tem-upper limit of the ozone poor layer was defined perature, pressure, relative humidity, wind velocityby free temperature inversions. Trajectories poin- and wind-direction were measured by an attached

    RS80 radiosonde. The data were transmitted to ated towards ice-covered regions of the Arctic

    Tellus 50B (1998), 1

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    Table 1. Climatological seasons and their corres-DigiCORA MW11 receiver (Vaisala) installed inthe ground station. The ascent velocity of the ponding Julian Days for the Arctic and Antarcticaozone sondes was around 5 m/s. Together with

    Season Julian Day Arctic Julian Day Antarcticthe inherent time constant of the ECC-sonde ofapproximately 20 s an effective height resolution

    spring 60151 244334of about 100 m was achieved. At the Japanese summer 152243 33559station Rabben surface ozone mixing ratios were autumn 244334 60151measured continuously by means of an ozone winter 33559 152243analyser based on UV-absorption (Dasibi, Model

    1006-AHJ). The ozone analyser is calibrated oncea year at the National Institute of Environmental Japanese Antarctic station were calculated by the

    Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) using theStudies (NIES, Tsukuba, Japan) by a reference

    UV-spectrometer equipped with an optical cell of JMA global model. We used the pressure maps atsea level, which were calculated two times a dayone meter pathlength. With this ozone analyser

    O3 mixing ratios up to 200 ppbv can be measured at 0000 and 1200 UTC. The sea ice coverage ofthe Arctic Ocean and the South Atlantic Oceanwith an instrumental precision of 1 ppbv and

    an absolute detection limit of 1 ppbv. was derived from ice charts from the National IceCenter (NIC), Boulder, Colorado and theNeumayer-Station (the German research station

    in Antarctica) is located 42 m a.s.l. at 70S, 8W National Snow and Ice Data Center, Boulder,Colorado. For convenience, in our analysis theon the Ekstrm Ice Shelf in 5 km distance to the

    Atka Bay. The surrounding is flat and snow date is given as decimal day of the year (JulianDay=JD, Table 1) and the time in UTC.covered with a gen