Articles | Volume 16, issue 16
Research article
25 Aug 2016
Research article |  | 25 Aug 2016

Impact of the Asian monsoon on the extratropical lower stratosphere: trace gas observations during TACTS over Europe 2012

Stefan Müller, Peter Hoor, Heiko Bozem, Ellen Gute, Bärbel Vogel, Andreas Zahn, Harald Bönisch, Timo Keber, Martina Krämer, Christian Rolf, Martin Riese, Hans Schlager, and Andreas Engel

Abstract. The transport of air masses originating from the Asian monsoon anticyclone into the extratropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (Ex-UTLS) above potential temperatures Θ =  380 K was identified during the HALO aircraft mission TACTS in August and September 2012. In situ measurements of CO, O3 and N2O during TACTS flight 2 on 30 August 2012 show the irreversible mixing of aged stratospheric air masses with younger (recently transported from the troposphere) ones within the Ex-UTLS. Backward trajectories calculated with the trajectory module of CLaMS indicate that these tropospherically affected air masses originate from the Asian monsoon anticyclone. These air masses are subsequently transported above potential temperatures Θ =  380 K from the monsoon circulation region into the Ex-UTLS, where they subsequently mix with stratospheric air masses. The overall trace gas distribution measured during TACTS shows that this transport pathway had affected the chemical composition of the Ex-UTLS during boreal summer and autumn 2012. This leads to an intensification of the tropospheric influence on the extratropical lower stratosphere with PV  >  8 pvu within 3 weeks during the TACTS mission. During the same time period a weakening of the tropospheric influence on the lowermost stratosphere (LMS) is determined. The study shows that the transport of air masses originating from the Asian summer monsoon region within the lower stratosphere affects the change in the chemical composition of the Ex-UTLS over Europe and thus contributes to the flushing of the LMS during summer 2012.

Short summary
In situ airborne measurements performed during TACTS/ESMVal 2012 were analysed to investigate the chemical compostion of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. N2O, CO and O3 data show an increase in tropospherically affected air masses within the extratropical stratosphere from August to September 2012, which originate from the Asian monsoon region. Thus, the Asian monsoon anticyclone significantly affected the chemical composition of the extratropical stratosphere during summer 2012.
Final-revised paper