Journal article

The H2O-O2 water vapour complex in the Earth's atmosphere

Kasai Y, Dupuy E, Saito R, Hashimoto K, Sabu A, Kondo S, Sumiyoshi Y, Endo Y ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 11, issue 16 (2011) pp. 8607-8612

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Until recently, abundance estimates for bound molecular complexes have
been affected by uncertainties of a factor 10-100. This is due to the
difficulty of accurately obtaining the equilibrium constant, either from
laboratory experiments or by statistical thermodynamic calculations. In
this paper, we firstly present laboratory experiments that we performed
in order to determine the molecular structure of H(2)O-O(2). We also
derive global abundance estimates for H(2)O-O(2) in the Earth's
atmosphere. The equilibrium constant K(p) evaluated using the
``anharmonic oscillator approach{''} (AHOA) (Sabu et al., 2005) was
employed: the AHOA explains well the structure of the complex obtained
by the present experiment. The K(p) calculated by this method shows a
realistic temperature dependence. We used this K(p) to derive global
abundance estimates for H(2)O-O(2) in the Earth's atmosphere. The
distribution of H(2)O-O(2) follows that of water vapour in the
troposphere and seems inversely proportional to temperature in the lower
stratosphere. Preliminary estimates at the surface show amount of
H(2)O-O(2) is comparable to CO or N(2)O, ranking water vapour complexes
among the ten most abundant species in the boundary layer.

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  • Y. Kasai

  • E. Dupuy

  • R. Saito

  • K. Hashimoto

  • A. Sabu

  • S. Kondo

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