Variability and trends in stratospheric NO2 in Antarctic summer, and implications for stratospheric NOy

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Abstract

NO2 measurements during 1990–2007, obtained from a zenith-sky spectrometer in the Antarctic, are analysed to determine the long-term changes in NO2. An atmospheric photochemical box model and a radiative transfer model are used to improve the accuracy ofdetermination ofthe vertical columns from the slant column measurements, and to deduce the amount of NOy from NO2. We find that the NO2 and NOy columns in midsummer have large inter-annual variabil- ity superimposed on a broad maximum in 2000, with little or no overall trend over the full time period. These changes are robust to a variety of alternative settings when determin- ing vertical columns from slant columns or determining NOy from NO2. They may signify similar changes in speed of the Brewer-Dobson circulation but with opposite sign, i.e. a broad minimum around 2000. Multiple regressions show sig- nificant correlation with solar and quasi-biennial-oscillation indices, and weak correlation with El Nino, but no signifi- cant overall trend, corresponding to an increase in Brewer- Dobson circulation of 1.4±3.5%/decade. There remains an unexplained cycle of amplitude and period at least 15% and 17 years, with minimum speed in about 2000. 1

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Cook, P. A., & Roscoe, H. K. (2009). Variability and trends in stratospheric NO2 in Antarctic summer, and implications for stratospheric NOy. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 9(11), 3601–3612. https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-9-3601-2009

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