Related Research Areas
Atmospheric Composition, Climate Variability & Change

The objective is to investigate impacts of Arctic sea ice reduction on bromine, ozone, and mercury chemical processes, transport, and distribution from sea ice surfaces on the Arctic Ocean, and atmospheric transport of these chemicals to high mountains on land. Key science questions still remain to be answered in order to understand the impact of the recent drastic reduction of Arctic sea ice, which profoundly changes the Arctic environment, on the physical and chemical processes involved in bromine explosion leading to depletion of tropospheric ozone (O3) and gaseous elementary mercury (GEM): (1) Will the Arctic sea ice reduction, which has shifted the state of the Arctic sea ice cover to the dominance domain of seasonal ice, continue the declining trend? (2) How is the chemical process for bromine explosion initiated from the surface with different sea ice classes (seasonal and perennial ice), frost flowers, and snow cover that are affected by the Arctic sea ice change? (3) How is bromine recycled and distributed in the tropospheric vertical column and how are bromine explosion events are propagated and terminated? What are the relative roles of vertical mixing/dilution versus depositional loss of bromine products to a relatively non-saline surface? (4) How are bromine and thus O3 and GEM and more importantly RGM distributed in time (seasonal, interannual, and decadal) and in space (on ice/ocean, near shore, inland, and around mountain complex) and their relationship to oceanic and atmospheric forcing in the changing Arctic environment? (5) If the Arctic sea ice reduction trend continues, would bromine explosion and O3/GEM depletion increase or decrease? Answers to the above key questions provide fundamental physical insights into the halogen chemical processes that govern bromine, ozone, and mercury in the Arctic environment that is impacted by a changing Arctic sea ice surface and related changes in climate. Such understanding is critical to correctly identify the cause and consequence in Arctic O3/GEM depletion in response to Arctic change, and enables a physical-based assessment of the Arctic environmental vulnerability to geochemical change. Tropospheric (the air the we breath) ozone and mercury are toxic to people and wildlife. Understanding the chemical sources, processes, and transport will enable a better quantification of the impacts. Our approach will use data from multiple satellites including MODIS (NASA), AMSR-E (NASA), QuikSCAT (NASA), Envisat ASAR (ESA), GOME-2 (ESA), SCIAMACHY (ESA), RADARSAT SAR (CSA), and TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X (Germany) together with past and present measurements from multiple field campaigns such as the IPY OASIS, INCATPA, CFL, SALT, and other present and future field experiments, to investigate how changing sea ice conditions can change the rates and nature of chemical processes involving these species. The approach will include a new unique field experiment (never done before) to identify the role of different sea ice surface types in the photochemical processes, together with airborne measurements across various Arctic land-seascapes. We will use the Drift-age Model to characterize sea ice dynamics and distribution. Furthermore, atmospheric dynamics will be included in this research using model analyses such as the National Centers for Environment Prediction and National Center for Atmospheric Research reanalysis and Rising Air Parcel (RAP) trajectories. Based on new findings, we assess the capability for chemical weather forecast: short-term prediction of bromine explosions and O3/GEM depletion. Thus, this research builds on and expands NASA multi-satellite capabilities leading to the first assessment and potential development of new predictive modeling for chemical weather forecast. Thus, it lends support to Decadal-Survey satellite missions related to ozone and ice (e.g., CLARREO, GPSRO, ASCENDS, GACM, GEO-SCAPE, ACE, XOVWM, DESDynI, ICESAT-II, etc.).

Project PI: Son Nghiem/Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Jet Propulsion Laboratory M/S 300-235 4800 Oak Grove Drive Pasadena, CA 91109

Phone: (818) 354-4321



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Started: Sep 29, 2010

Last Activity: Jan 05, 2011


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