Articles | Volume 10, issue 18
20 Sep 2010
 | 20 Sep 2010

Response of tropical stratospheric O3, NO2 and NO3 to the equatorial Quasi-Biennial Oscillation and to temperature as seen from GOMOS/ENVISAT

A. Hauchecorne, J. L. Bertaux, F. Dalaudier, P. Keckhut, P. Lemennais, S. Bekki, M. Marchand, J. C. Lebrun, E. Kyrölä, J. Tamminen, V. Sofieva, D. Fussen, F. Vanhellemont, O. Fanton d'Andon, G. Barrot, L. Blanot, T. Fehr, and L. Saavedra de Miguel

Abstract. The stellar occultation spectrometer GOMOS (Global Ozone Monitoring by Occultation of Stars) on ESA's Envisat satellite measures vertical profiles O3, NO2 and NO3 with a high long-term stability due to the self-calibrating nature of the technique. More than 6 years of GOMOS data from August 2002 to end 2008 have been analysed to study the inter-annual variation of O3, NO2 and NO3 in the tropics. It is shown that the QBO of the equatorial wind induces variations in the local concentration larger than 10% for O3 and larger than 25% for NO2.

Quasi-Biennial Oscillation signals can be found in the evolution of the three constituents up to at least 40 km. We found that NO3 is positively correlated with temperature up to 45 km in the region where it is in chemical equilibrium with O3. Our results confirm the existence of a transition from a dynamical control of O3 below 28 km with O3 correlated with temperature and a chemical/temperature control between 28 and 38 km with O3 anti-correlated with NO2 and temperature. Above 38 km and up to 50 km a different regime is found with O3 and NO2 correlated with each other and anti-correlated with temperature. For the NO2/temperature anti-correlation in the upper stratosphere, our proposed explanation is the modulation of the N2O ascent by the QBO up to 45 km. The oxidation of N2O is the main source of NOy in this altitude region. An enhancement of the ascending motion will cool adiabatically the atmosphere and will increase the amount of N2O concentration available for NOy formation.

Final-revised paper