Journal article

Seasonality of peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere using the MIPAS-E instrument

Moore D, Remedios J ...see all

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, vol. 10, issue 13 (2010) pp. 6117-6128

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The Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding onboard
ENVISAT (MIPAS-E) offers the opportunity to detect and spectrally
resolve many atmospheric minor constituents affecting atmospheric
chemistry. In this paper, we retrieve global, seasonal PAN volume mixing
ratio (vmr) data from MIPAS-E measurements made in January, March,
August and October 2003 and present results from this scheme between
approximately 300 and 150 hPa. The total error on a single PAN retrieval
is better than 20% outside the tropics and better than 50% in the
tropics where uncertainties in water vapor dominate the total error
budget. We observe clear differences in the seasonal cycle of PAN in our
data, linked closely to biomass burning regions and growing seasons.
Highest Northern Hemisphere mid-latitude PAN vmrs were observed in
August (300-600 pptv on average) compared with the January and October
data (less than 250 pptv on average). In the March 2003 data we observe
highest PAN vmrs in the tropics with evidence of vmrs between 600 and
1000 pptv over Eastern Asia and over the Central Pacific at 333 hPa. The
vertical distribution of PAN as a function of latitude (i.e. the zonal
mean) highlights the strong inter-annual variability of PAN in the upper
troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS), most pronounced poleward of
40 degrees N (up to 400 pptv over the year). The variability of PAN in
the tropical UTLS is also significant and we derive a variability of up
to 250 pptv in the averages between January and October 2003. These
results represent the first seasonal observations of PAN in the UTLS.

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  • D. P. Moore

  • J. J. Remedios

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