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Atmospheric Composition

A primary focus of Chapter 6 of the NRC Decadal Survey, which addressed the issue of Human Health, was the objective of forecasting UV dosage levels over populated areas in the years ahead. A key shortcoming in our knowledge of the coupling between climate change and the dynamical structure of the atmosphere centers on the mechanisms that establish the spatial and temporal pattern of the chemical composition of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. Because of the vastly different response to temperature, oxidation, heterogeneous processing, photolysis, hydrolysis, etc., at the molecular level, observations of the proper complement of long- and short-lived species provides a powerful diagnostic tool to investigate these regions. In situ observations throughout the TTL of a key pair of radicals, ClO and BrO, constitute an important diagnostic for testing competing hypotheses that underpin an array of important questions. Analysis of the response of the catalytic impact of the halogen radicals requires simultaneous in situ observations of ClONO2 and ClOOCl. Developments in the laboratory over the past two years have resulted in a new BrO instrument that is capable of a factor of ten improvement in the detection limit of this radical in the lower stratosphere and in the troposphere. The first order objective will be to establish the rate of catalytic ozone loss in the lower stratosphere in the presence of high water vapor/total water concentrations at low temperatures---a combination that is hypothesized to significantly amplify the catalytic loss from ClO, BrO, and IO, as called for in the NRC Decadal Survey.

Project PI: James Anderson/Harvard University

Harvard University 12 Oxford Street, Link Bldg. Cambridge, MA 02138

Phone: (617) 495-5922

Fax: (617) 495-4902

Email: anderson@huarp.harvard.edu

http://www.arp.harvard.edu/

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Started: Aug 09, 2010

Last Activity: Mar 16, 2011

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