Ozone destruction by NO x
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The catalytic destruction of stratospheric ozone by the oxides of nitrogen is believed to be an important part of the global ozone balance. The lack of sufficient measurements of NO x concentrations has impeded efforts to quantify this process. Recent measurements of stratospheric nitrogen dioxide from ground-based stations as well as aircraft and balloons have provided a first approximation to a global distribution of NO2 vertical columns at sunset. These observed vertical columns have been translated into time-dependent vertical NO2 profiles by means of a one-dimensional atmospheric photochemical model. Using recent observations of air temperature and ozone along with this information, the independent instantaneous (one second) rates of ozone production from oxygen photolysis P(O3), of ozone destruction from pure oxygen species (Chapman reactions) L(O x ), and of ozone destruction by nitrogen oxides L(NO x ) were estimated over the three-dimensional atmosphere. These quantities are displayed as zonal average contour maps, summed over various latitude zones, summed over various altitude bands, and integrated globally between 15 and 45 km. Although the global summation between 15 and 45 km by no means tells the complete story, these numbers are of some interest, and the relative values are: P(O3), 100; L(O x ), 15; L(NO x ), 45±15. It is to be emphasized that this relative NO x contribution to the integrated ozone balance is not a measure of the sensitivity of ozone to possible perturbations of stratospheric NO x ; recent model results must be examined for current estimates of this sensitivity.
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