NEAR-TOTAL depletion of the ozone in surface air is often observed in the Arctic spring, coincident with high atmospheric concentrations of inorganic bromine1–5. Barrie et al.1 suggested that the ozone depletion was due to a catalytic cycle involving the radicals Br and BrO (ref. 6); however, these species are rapidly converted to the nonradical species HBr, HOBr and BrNO3, quenching ozone loss. McConnell et al.7 proposed that cycling of inorganic bromine between aerosols and the gas phase could maintain sufficiently high levels of Br and BrO to destroy ozone, but they did not specify a mechanism for aerosol-phase production of active bromine species. Here we propose such a mechanism, based on known aqueous-phase chemistry, which rapidly converts HBr, HOBr and BrNO3 back to Br and BrO radicals. This mechanism should be particularly efficient in the presence of the high concentrations of sulphuric acid aerosols observed during ozone depletion events3.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution
Open Access articles citing this article.
Surface ozone monitoring and background characteristics at Zhongshan Station over Antarctica
Chinese Science Bulletin Open Access 20 April 2011
Subscribe to this journal
Receive 51 print issues and online access
$199.00 per year
only $3.90 per issue
Rent or buy this article
Get just this article for as long as you need it
Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout
Barrie, L. A., Bottenheim, J. W., Schnell, R. C., Crutzen, P. J. & Rasmussen, R. A. Nature 334, 138–141 (1988).
Oltmans, S. J. et al. Atmos. Envir. 23, 2431–2441 (1989).
Bottenheim, J. W. et al. J. geophys. Res. 95, 18555–18568 (1990).
Finlayson-Pitts, B. J., Livingston, F. E. & Berko, H. N. Nature 343, 622–625 (1990).
Sturges, W. T. et al. Atmos. Envir. (in the press).
Wofsy, S. C., McElroy, M. B. & Yung, Y. L. Geophys. Res. Lett. 2, 215–218 (1975).
McConnell, J. C. et al. Nature 355, 150–152 (1992).
DeMore, W. B. et al. JPL Publ. 90–1 (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, 1990).
Eigen, M. & Kustin, K. J. Am. chem. Soc. 84, 1355–1361 (1962).
Barrie, L. A., den Hartog, G., Bottenheim, J. W. & Landsberger, S. J. atmos. Chem. 9, 101–127 (1989).
Lazrus, A. L. & Ferek, R. J. Geophys. Res. Lett. 11, 417–419 (1984).
Ferek, R. J. et al. Envir. Sci. Technol. 17, 315–324 (1983).
Brimblecombe, P. & Clegg, S. L. J. atmos. Chem. 7, 1–18 (1988).
Hanson, D. R. & Ravishankara, A. R. J. geophys. Res. 96, 17307–17314 (1991).
Schwartz, S. E. & Freiberg, J. E. Atmos. Envir. 15, 1129–1144 (1981).
Lide, D. R. (ed.) Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 72nd edn, 5–21 (1991).
Logan, J. A., Prather, M. J., Wofsy, S. C. & McElroy, M. B. J. geophys. Res. 86, 7210–7254 (1981).
Atkinson, R. Atmos. Envir. 24, 1–41 (1990).
Baulch, D. L. et al. J. phys. Chem. Ref. Data 11, 327–496 (1982).
Madronich, S. & Calvert, J. G. J. geophys. Res. 95, 5697–5716 (1990).
Fuchs, N. A. & Sutugin, A. G. Int. Rev. Aerosol Phys. Chem. 2, 1–60 (1971).
Watson, L. R. et al. J. geophys. Res. 95, 5631–5638 (1990).
Rights and permissions
About this article
Cite this article
Fan, SM., Jacob, D. Surface ozone depletion in Arctic spring sustained by bromine reactions on aerosols. Nature 359, 522–524 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1038/359522a0
This article is cited by
Towards integrating toxicity characterization into environmental studies: case study of bromine in soils
Environmental Science and Pollution Research (2019)
Exploring the potential energy surface of novel [H, S, Se, Br] species: a high level first principle study
Journal of Molecular Modeling (2017)
Photochemical production of molecular bromine in Arctic surface snowpacks
Nature Geoscience (2013)
Numerical simulation of tropospheric ozone depletion in the polar spring
Air Quality, Atmosphere & Health (2013)
Bromine-induced oxidation of mercury in the mid-latitude atmosphere
Nature Geoscience (2011)
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.