Articles | Volume 12, issue 18
Research article
20 Sep 2012
Research article |  | 20 Sep 2012

A stratospheric intrusion at the subtropical jet over the Mediterranean Sea: air-borne remote sensing observations and model results

K. Weigel, L. Hoffmann, G. Günther, F. Khosrawi, F. Olschewski, P. Preusse, R. Spang, F. Stroh, and M. Riese

Abstract. Remote sensing measurements from the Cryogenic Infrared Spectrometers and Telescope for the Atmosphere – New Frontiers (CRISTA-NF) during a flight on 29 July 2006 are presented. This flight is part of the AMMA-SCOUT-O3 measurement campaign, where CRISTA-NF was deployed on the high-flying research aircraft M55-Geophysica. The flight path was located over Italy and the Mediterranean Sea and crossed over the subtropical jet twice. Measurements of temperature, and the volume mixing ratios of water vapor (H2O), ozone (O3), nitric acid (HNO3) and peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) are available with a vertical resolution of up to 500 m between about 6 to 21 km altitude. CRISTA-NF observes these trace gases simultaneously and provides a quasi-2-D view of the transition region between the troposphere and the stratosphere. The observation of these different trace gases allows to determine tropospheric and stratospheric air masses. As expected, higher abundances are found where the main source of the trace gases is located: in the stratosphere for O3 and in the troposphere for H2O and PAN. Tracer-tracer correlations between O3 and PAN are used to identify the mixed tropospheric and lowermost stratospheric air at the subtropical jet and around the thermal tropopause north of the jet. An intrusion of stratospheric air into the troposphere associated with the subtropical jet is found in the CRISTA-NF observations. The observations indicate that the intrusion is connected to a tropopause fold which is not resolved in the ECMWF analysis data. The intrusion was reproduced in a simulation with the Chemical Lagrangian Model of the Stratosphere (CLaMS). The CLaMS simulation shows, that the lowermost stratospheric air masses in the intrusion where transported along the the subtropical jet. The tropospheric air masses around the intrusion originate from the vicinity of the Asian monsoon anticyclone. This work discusses the nature of the observed processes at the subtropical jet based on the CRISTA-NF observations and the CLaMS simulation.

Final-revised paper