24 Nov 2021

24 Nov 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Age Spectra and Other Transport Diagnostics in the North American Monsoon UTLS from SEAC4RS In Situ Trace Gas Measurements

Eric A. Ray1,2, Elliot L. Atlas3, Sue Schauffler4, Sofia Chelpon5, Laura Pan4, Harald Bönisch6, and Karen H. Rosenlof1 Eric A. Ray et al.
  • 1NOAA Chemical Sciences Laboratory, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 2Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES), University of Colorado, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 3University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA
  • 4National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 5City University of New York Graduate Center, New York, NY, USA
  • 6Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Meteorology and Climate Research, Karlsruhe, Germany

Abstract. The upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) during the summer monsoon season over North America (NAM) is influenced by the transport of air from a variety of source regions over a wide range of time scales (hours to years). Age spectra are useful for characterizing the transport into such a region and in this study we use and build on recently developed techniques to infer age spectra from trace gas measurements with photochemical lifetimes from days to centuries. We show that the measurements taken by the Whole Air Sampler instrument during the SEAC4RS campaign can be used to not only derive age spectra, but also path-integrated lifetimes of each of the trace gases and surface source regions. The method used here can also clearly identify and adjust for measurement outliers that were influenced by polluted surface source regions. The results are generally consistent with expected transport features of the NAM but also provide a range of transport diagnostics that have not previously been computed solely from in situ measurements. These methods may be applied to many other existing in situ datasets and the transport diagnostics can be compared with chemistry-climate model transport in the UTLS.

Eric A. Ray et al.

Status: open (until 05 Jan 2022)

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Eric A. Ray et al.

Data sets

Measurements and analysis data Eric A. Ray

Model code and software

Analysis code Eric A. Ray

Eric A. Ray et al.


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Short summary
The movement of air masses and the trace gases they contain from the Earth’s surface into the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) can have important implications for the radiative and chemical balance of the atmosphere. In this study we build on recent techniques and use new ones to estimate a range of transport diagnostics based on simultaneously measured trace gases in the UTLS during the monsoon season in North America.