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HOCl chemistry in the Antarctic stratospheric vortex 2002, as observed with the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS)

Author(s): T. von Clarmann | N. Glatthor | R. Ruhnke | G. P. Stiller | O. Kirner | T. Reddmann | M. Höpfner | S. Kellmann | W. Kouker | A. Linden | B. Funke

Journal: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions
ISSN 1680-7367

Volume: 8;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 18967;
Date: 2008;
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In the 2002 Antarctic polar vortex enhanced HOCl mixing ratios were detected by the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding both at altitudes of around 35 km, where HOCl abundances are ruled by gas phase chemistry and at around 24 km, which belongs to the altitude domain where heterogeneous chlorine chemistry is relevant. At altitudes of 33 to 40 km, where in midlatitudinal and tropical atmospheres peak HOCl mixing ratios significantly above 0.2 ppbv (in terms of daily mean values) are observed, polar vortex HOCl mixing ratios were found to be around 0.14 ppbv as long as the polar vortex was intact, centered at the pole, and thus received relatively little sunlight. After deformation and displacement of the polar vortex in the course of a major warming, ClO rich vortex air was more exposed to sunlight, where enhanced HOx abundances led to largely increased HOCl mixing ratios (up to 0.3 ppbv), exceeding typical midlatitudinal and tropical amounts significantly. The HOCl increase was preceded by an increase of ClO. Model runs could reproduce these measurements only when the Stimpfle et al. (1979) rate constant for the reaction ClO+HO2→HOCl+O2 was used but not with the current JPL recommendation. At an altitude of 24 km, HOCl mixing ratios of up to 0.15 ppbv were detected. This HOCl enhancement, which is already visible in 18 September data, is attributed to heterogeneous chemistry, which is in agreement with observations of polar stratospheric clouds. Comparison with a model run where no polar stratospheric clouds appeared during the observation period suggests that a significant part of HOCl was generated from ClO rather than directly via heterogeneous reaction. Excess ClO and HOCl in the measurements is attributed to ongoing heterogeneous chemistry which is not reproduced by the model. In the following days, a decay of HOCl abundances was observed and on 11 October, polar vortex mean daytime mixing ratios were only 0.03 ppbv.
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