Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Ozone destruction and photochemical reactions at polar sunrise in the lower Arctic atmosphere

Abstract

There is increasing evidence that at polar sunrise sunlight-induced changes in the composition of the lower Arctic atmosphere (0–2 km) are taking place that are important regarding the tropospheric cycles of ozone, bromine, sulphur oxides1, nitrogen oxides2 and possibly iodine3. Here we focus on recent ground-level observations from the Canadian baseline station at Alert (82.5° N, 62.3° W) and from aircraft that show that ozone destruction is occurring under the Arctic surface radiation inversion during March and April as the Sun rises. The destruction might be linked to catalytic reactions of BrOx radicals and the photochemistry of bromoform, which appears to have a biological origin in the Arctic Ocean. This may clarify previously unexplained regular springtime occurrences of ozone depletion at ground level in a 10-year data record at Barrow, Alaska4, as well as peaks in aerosol bromine observed throughout the Arctic in March and April3. Current information does not allow us to offer more than a speculative explanation for the chemical mechanisms leading to these phenomena.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. Barrie, L. A. & Hoff, R. M. Atmos. Envir. 18, 2711–2722 (1984).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Barrie, L. A., den Hartog, G., Bottenheim, J. W. & Landsberger, S. J. atmos. Chem. (in the press).

  3. Sturges, W. T. & Barrie, L. A. Atmos. Envir. 22, 1179–1194 (1988).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Oltmans, S. J. & Komhyr, W. D. J. geophys. Res. 91, 5229–5236 (1986).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Barrie, L. A. Atmos. Envir. 20, 643–663 (1986).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Koerner, R. M. & Fisher, D. Nature 295, 137–140 (1982).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Barrie, L. A., Fisher, D. & Koerner, R. M. Atmos. Envir. 19, 2055–2063 (1985).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Schnell, R. C. Geophys. Res. Lett. 11, 361–364 (1983).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Schnell, R. C., Watson, T. B. & Bodhaine, B. A. J. atmos. Chem. (in the press).

  10. Bottenheim, J. W., Gallant, A. G. & Brice, K. A. Geophys. Res. Lett. 13, 113–116 (1986).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Leaitch, W. R., Hoff, R. M. & MacPherson, J. I. J. atmos. Chem. (in the press).

  12. Bridgman, H. A., Schnell, R. C., Herbert, G. A., Bodhaine, B. A. & Oltmans, S. J. J. atmos. Chem. (in the press).

  13. Herbert, G. A. et al. J. atmos. Chem. (in the press).

  14. Hansen, A. D. A. & Rosen, H. Geophys. Res. Lett. 11, 381–384 (1984).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Sheridan, P. J. thesis, Univ. Maryland (1986).

  16. Berg, W. W., Sperry, P. D., Rahn, R. A. & Gladney, E. S. J. geophys. Res. 88, 6719–6736 (1983).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Barrie, L. A. J. atmos. Chem. 3, 139–152 (1985).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Khalil, M. A. K., Rasmussen, R. A. & Gunawardena, R. NOAA/GMCC Ann. Rep. Vol. 15 (1986).

  19. Rasmussen, R. A. & Khalil, M. A. K. Geophys. res. Lett. 11, 433–436 (1984).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Berg, W. W. et al. Geophys. res. Lett. 11, 429–432 (1984).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Dryssen, D. & Fogelqvist, E. Oceanologica Acta 4, 313–317 (1981).

    Google Scholar 

  22. Cicerone, R. J., Heidt, L. E. & Pollock, W. H. J. geophys. Res. 93, 3745–3750 (1988).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Galbally, I. E. & Roy, C. R. Q. JI R. met. Soc. 106, 599–620 (1980).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Patterson, D. E. & Husar, R. B. Atmos. Envir. 15, 1479–1482 (1981).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Toon, O. B., Hamill, P., Turro, R. P. & Pinto, J. Geophys. Res. Lett. 13, 1284–1287 (1986).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Crutzen, P. J. & Arnold, F. Nature 324, 651–655 (1986).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Molina, M. J., Tso, T. L., Molina, L. T. & Wang, F. C-Y. Science 238, 1253–1257 (1987).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Tolbert, M. A., Rossi, M. J., Malhotra, R. & Golden, D. M. Science 238, 1258–1260 (1987).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. JPL/NASA Publn Number 85-37 (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California 1985).

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Barrie, L., Bottenheim, J., Schnell, R. et al. Ozone destruction and photochemical reactions at polar sunrise in the lower Arctic atmosphere. Nature 334, 138–141 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1038/334138a0

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/334138a0

Further reading

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing