IT has been suggested that the only significant sink for odd nitrogen in the stratosphere is through transport of HNO3 to the troposphere1. As a result, if NO were to be injected in the middle or lower stratosphere, the change in odd nitrogen, NOy (NOy ≡ NO+NO2+HNO3+N), mixing ratio above the height of injection would be nearly constant. The photolysis of nitric oxide, however, and the subsequent reactions of nitrogen atom with nitric oxide act as a sink for odd nitrogens in the upper stratosphere. This mechanism has long been recognised as important to mesospheric chemistry2,3, and has also been included in many of the stratospheric models4–7. Its role in the stratospheric NOy budget, however, has not been analysed. This paper reports an investigation on the importance of this net NOy sink by means of a one-dimensional transport-kinetics model8.
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DUEWER, W., WUEBBLES, D. & CHANG, J. Effect of NO photolysis on NOy mixing ratios. Nature 265, 523–525 (1977). https://doi.org/10.1038/265523a0