Enhanced NOx in 2006 linked to strong upper stratospheric Arctic vortex

C. E. Randall, V. L. Harvey, C. S. Singleton, P. F. Bernath, C. D. Boone, J. U. Kozyra

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Measurements from the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment show pronounced downward transport of NOx ( NO+ NO2) to the Arctic stratosphere in Feb - Mar 2006. NOx mixing ratios in the upper stratosphere were 3 - 6 times larger than observed previously in either the Arctic or Antarctic, aside from the extraordinary winter of 2003 - 2004. There was only minimal geomagnetic activity in late 2005 and early 2006, however, suggesting that NOx produced via energetic particle precipitation was not significantly elevated. On the other hand, the Arctic polar vortex at stratopause altitudes in Feb 2006 was exceptionally strong, implying greater confinement of air in the polar night. Carbon monoxide data also indicate enhanced confined descent of air from the mesosphere. These results confirm that impacts of EPP on the atmosphere are modulated by meteorological conditions; this has implications for understanding interannual variability and trends in stratospheric NOx and ozone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages5
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 27 Sep 2006



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