Long-range transport pathways of tropospheric source gases originating in Asia into the northern lower stratosphere during the Asian monsoon season 2012
Abstract. Global simulations with the Chemical Lagrangian Model of the Stratosphere (CLaMS) using artificial tracers of air mass origin are used to analyze transport mechanisms from the Asian monsoon region into the lower stratosphere. In a case study, the transport of air masses from the Asian monsoon anticyclone originating in India/China by an eastward-migrating anticyclone which broke off from the main anticyclone on 20 September 2012 and filaments separated at the northeastern flank of the anticyclone are analyzed. Enhanced contributions of young air masses (younger than 5 months) are found within the separated anticyclone confined at the top by the thermal tropopause. Further, these air masses are confined by the anticyclonic circulation and, on the polar side, by the subtropical jet such that the vertical structure resembles a bubble within the upper troposphere. Subsequently, these air masses are transported eastwards along the subtropical jet and enter the lower stratosphere by quasi-horizontal transport in a region of double tropopauses most likely associated with Rossby wave breaking events. As a result, thin filaments with enhanced signatures of tropospheric trace gases were measured in the lower stratosphere over Europe during the TACTS/ESMVal campaign in September 2012 in very good agreement with CLaMS simulations. Our simulations demonstrate that source regions in Asia and in the Pacific Ocean have a significant impact on the chemical composition of the lower stratosphere of the Northern Hemisphere. Young, moist air masses, in particular at the end of the monsoon season in September/October 2012, flooded the extratropical lower stratosphere in the Northern Hemisphere with contributions of up to ≈ 30 % at 380 K (with the remaining fraction being aged air). In contrast, the contribution of young air masses to the Southern Hemisphere is much lower. At the end of October 2012, approximately 1.5 ppmv H2O is found in the lower Northern Hemisphere stratosphere (at 380 K) from source regions both in Asia and in the tropical Pacific compared to a mean water vapor content of ≈ 5 ppmv. In addition to this main transport pathway from the Asian monsoon anticyclone to the east along the subtropical jet and subsequent transport into the northern lower stratosphere, a second horizontal transport pathway out of the anticyclone to the west into the tropics (TTL) is found in agreement with MIPAS HCFC-22 measurements.