Articles | Volume 7, issue 3
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 685–695, 2007

Special issue: HIBISCUS - investigating the impact of tropical convection...

Atmos. Chem. Phys., 7, 685–695, 2007

  12 Feb 2007

12 Feb 2007

Solid particles in the tropical lowest stratosphere

J. K. Nielsen1, N. Larsen1, F. Cairo2, G. Di Donfrancesco3, J. M. Rosen4, G. Durry5,7, G. Held6, and J. P. Pommereau7 J. K. Nielsen et al.
  • 1Danish Meteorological Institute, Lyngbyvej 100, 2100 Kbh. Ø, Denmark
  • 2Institute for Atmospheric Science and Climate, CNR, Via del Fosso del Cavaliere 100, 00133 Rome, Italy
  • 3Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Environment, ENEA C. R. Cassaccia, Via Anguillarese 301, 00060 Rome, Italy
  • 4University of Wyoming, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Laramie, Wyoming 82071, USA
  • 5Groupe de Spectrometrie Moleculaire et Atmospherique, CNRS, Universite de Reims , 51687 Reims, France
  • 6Instituto de Pesquisas Meteorológicas, Universidade Estadual Paulista, CX Postal, 281 17015-970 BAURU, S. P., Brasil
  • 7CNRS, Institut Pierre Simon Laplace, Service d'Aeronomie, B.P. 3, 91371 Verrieres le Buisson Cedex, France

Abstract. We report in situ and remote observations proving occasional occurrence of solid particles in the tropical lowest stratosphere, 200 km from deep convective events. The particles were found during field campaigns in Southeast Brazil (49.03 W 22.36 S). They occur in the altitude range from 17.5 to 20.8 km, at temperatures up to at least 10 K above the expected frost point temperature. While stability of ice particles at these altitudes is unexpected from a theoretical point of view, it is argued that these observations are indications of tropospheric air masses penetrating into the stratosphere during convective overshoots. It is argued that the intrusion of tropospheric air must have carried a large amount of water with it, which effectively hydrated the lowest stratosphere, and consequently suppressed sublimation. This conclusion is further supported by a separate water vapor mixing ratio profile obtained at the same observation site.

Final-revised paper