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Journal article

Arctic stratospheric dehydration - Part 2: Microphysical modeling

Engel I, Luo B, Khaykin S, Wienhold F, Vömel H, Kivi R, Hoyle C, Grooß J, Pitts M, Peter T ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 14, issue 7 (2014) pp. 3231-3246 Published by European Geosciences Union

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Abstract

Large areas of synoptic-scale ice PSCs (polar stratospheric clouds)
distinguished the Arctic winter 2009/2010 from other years and revealed
unprecedented evidence of water redistribution in the stratosphere. A
unique snapshot of water vapor repartitioning into ice particles was
obtained under extremely cold Arctic conditions with temperatures around
183K. Balloon-borne, aircraft and satellite-based measurements suggest
that synoptic-scale ice PSCs and concurrent reductions and enhancements
in water vapor are tightly linked with the observed de-and rehydration
signatures, respectively. In a companion paper (Part 1), water vapor and
aerosol backscatter measurements from the RECONCILE (Reconciliation of
essential process parameters for an enhanced predictability of Arctic
stratospheric ozone loss and its climate interactions) and LAPBIAT-II
(Lapland Atmosphere-Biosphere Facility) field campaigns have been
analyzed in detail. This paper uses a column version of the Zurich
Optical and Microphysical box Model (ZOMM) including newly developed NAT
(nitric acid trihydrate) and ice nucleation parameterizations. Particle
sedimentation is calculated in order to simulate the vertical
redistribution of chemical species such as water and nitric acid.
Despite limitations given by wind shear and uncertainties in the initial
water vapor profile, the column modeling unequivocally shows that (1)
accounting for small-scale temperature fluctuations along the
trajectories is essential in order to reach agreement between simulated
optical cloud properties and observations, and (2) the use of recently
developed heterogeneous ice nucleation parameterizations allows the
reproduction of the observed signatures of de- and rehydration.
Conversely, the vertical redistribution of water measured cannot be
explained in terms of homogeneous nucleation of ice clouds, whose
particle radii remain too small to cause significant dehydration.

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