Midlatitude stratosphere – troposphere exchange as diagnosed by MLS O3 and MOPITT CO assimilated fields
Abstract. This paper presents a comprehensive characterization of a very deep stratospheric intrusion which occurred over the British Isles on 15 August 2007. The signature of this event is diagnosed using ozonesonde measurements over Lerwick, UK (60.14° N, 1.19° W) and is also well characterized using meteorological analyses from the global operational weather prediction model of Météo-France, ARPEGE. Modelled as well as assimilated fields of both ozone (O3) and carbon monoxide (CO) have been used in order to better document this event. O3 and CO from Aura/MLS and Terra/MOPITT instruments, respectively, are assimilated into the three-dimensional chemical transport model MOCAGE of Météo-France using a variational 3-D-FGAT (First Guess at Appropriate Time) method. The validation of O3 and CO assimilated fields is done using self-consistency diagnostics and by comparison with independent observations such as MOZAIC (O3 and CO), AIRS (CO) and OMI (O3). It particularly shows in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere region that the assimilated fields are closer to MOZAIC than the free model run. The O3 bias between MOZAIC and the analyses is −11.5 ppbv with a RMS of 22.4 ppbv and a correlation coefficient of 0.93, whereas between MOZAIC and the free model run, the corresponding values are 33 ppbv, 38.5 ppbv and 0.83, respectively. In the same way, for CO, the bias, RMS and correlation coefficient between MOZAIC and the analyses are −3.16 ppbv, 13 ppbv and 0.79, respectively, whereas between MOZAIC and the free model they are 6.3 ppbv, 16.6 ppbv and 0.71, respectively. The paper also presents a demonstration of the capability of O3 and CO assimilated fields to better describe a stratosphere-troposphere exchange (STE) event in comparison with the free run modelled O3 and CO fields. Although the assimilation of MLS data improves the distribution of O3 above the tropopause compared to the free model run, it is not sufficient to reproduce the STE event well. Assimilated MOPITT CO allows a better qualitative description of the stratospheric intrusion event. The MOPITT CO analyses appear more promising than the MLS O3 analyses in terms of their ability to capture a deep STE event. Therefore, the results of this study open the perspectives for using MOPITT CO in the STE studies.