Articles | Volume 6, issue 6
18 May 2006
18 May 2006

On the ability of chemical transport models to simulate the vertical structure of the N2O, NO2 and HNO3 species in the mid-latitude stratosphere

G. Berthet, N. Huret, F. Lefèvre, G. Moreau, C. Robert, M. Chartier, V. Catoire, B. Barret, I. Pisso, and L. Pomathiod

Abstract. In this paper we study the impact of the modelling of N2O on the simulation of NO2 and HNO3 by comparing in situ vertical profiles measured at mid-latitudes with the results of the Reprobus 3-D CTM (Three-dimensional Chemical Transport Model) computed with the kinetic parameters from the JPL recommendation in 2002. The analysis of the measured in situ profile of N2O shows particular features indicating different air mass origins. The measured N2O, NO2 and HNO3 profiles are not satisfyingly reproduced by the CTM when computed using the current 6-hourly ECMWF operational analysis. Improving the simulation of N2O transport allows us to calculate quantities of NO2 and HNO3 in reasonable agreement with observations. This is achieved using 3-hourly winds obtained from ECMWF forecasts. The best agreement is obtained by constraining a one-dimensional version of the model with the observed N2O. This study shows that the modelling of the NOy partitioning with better accuracy relies at least on a correct simulation of N2O and thus of total NOy.

Final-revised paper