A multi-model intercomparison of halogenated very short-lived substances (TransCom-VSLS): linking oceanic emissions and tropospheric transport for a reconciled estimate of the stratospheric source gas injection of bromine

Hossaini, R., Patra, P. K., Leeson, A. A., Krysztofiak, G., Abraham, N. L., Andrews, S. J., Archibald, A. T., Aschmann, J., Atlas, E. L., Belikov, D. A., Bönisch, H., Butler, R., Carpenter, L. J., Dhomse, S., Dorf, M., Engel, A., Feng, L., Feng, W., Fuhlbrügge, Steffen, Griffiths, P. T., Harris, N. R. P., Hommel, R., Keber, T., Krüger, Kirstin, Lennartz, Sinnika T., Maksyutov, S., Mantle, H., Mills, G. P., Miller, B., Montzka, S. A., Moore, F., Navarro, M. A., Oram, D. E., Palmer, P. I., Pfeilsticker, K., Pyle, J. A., Quack, Birgit, Robinson, A. D., Saikawa, E., Saiz-Lopez, A., Sala, S., Sinnhuber, B.-M., Taguchi, S., Tegtmeier, Susann, Lidster, R. T., Wilson, C. and Ziska, Franziska (2016) A multi-model intercomparison of halogenated very short-lived substances (TransCom-VSLS): linking oceanic emissions and tropospheric transport for a reconciled estimate of the stratospheric source gas injection of bromine Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 16 (14). pp. 9163-9187. DOI 10.5194/acp-16-9163-2016.

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Abstract

The first concerted multi-model intercomparison of halogenated very short-lived substances (VSLS) has been performed, within the framework of the ongoing Atmospheric Tracer Transport Model Intercomparison Project (TransCom). Eleven global models or model variants participated, simulating the major natural bromine VSLS, bromoform (CHBr3) and dibromomethane (CH2Br2), over a 20-year period (1993-2012). The overarching goal of TransCom-VSLS was to provide a reconciled model estimate of the stratospheric source gas injection (SGI) of bromine from these gases, to constrain the current measurement-derived range, and to investigate inter-model differences due to emissions and transport processes.Models ran with standardised idealised chemistry, to isolate differences due to transport, and we investigated the sensitivity of results to a range of VSLS emission inventories. Models were tested in their ability to reproduce the observed seasonal and spatial distribution of VSLS at the surface, using measurements from NOAA’s long-term global monitoring network, and in the tropical troposphere, using recent aircraft measurements - including high altitude observations from the NASA Global Hawk platform. The models generally capture the seasonal cycle of surface CHBr3 and CH2Br2 well, with a strong model-measurement correlation (r ≥ 0.7) and a low sensitivity to the choice of emission inventory, at most sites. In a given model, the absolute model-measurement agreement is highly sensitive to the choice of emissions and inter-model differences are also apparent, even when using the same inventory, highlighting the challenges faced in evaluating such inventories at the global scale. Across the ensemble, most consistency is found within the tropics where most of the models (8 out of 11) achieve optimal agreement to surface CHBr3 observations using the lowest of the three CHBr3 emission inventories tested (similarly, 8 out of 11 models for CH2 Br2). In general, the models are able to reproduce well observations of CHBr3 and CH2 Br2 obtained in the tropical tropopause layer (TTL) at various locations throughout the Pacific. Zonal variability in VSLS loading in the TTL is generally consistent among models, with CHBr3 (and to a lesser extent CH2 Br2) most elevated over the tropical West Pacific during boreal winter. The models also indicate the Asian Monsoon during boreal summer to be an important pathway for VSLS reaching the stratosphere, though the strength of this signal varies considerably among models. We derive an ensemble climatological mean estimate of the stratospheric bromine SGI from CHBr3 and CH2 Br2 of 2.0 (1.2-2.5) ppt, ≫ 57% larger than the best estimate from the most recent World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Ozone Assessment Report. We find no evidence for a long-term, transport-driven trend in the stratospheric SGI of bromine over the simulation period. However, transport-driven inter-annual variability in the annual mean bromine SGI is of the order of a ±5%, with SGI exhibiting a strong positive correlation with ENSO in the East Pacific.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB1 Ocean Circulation and Climate Dynamics > FB1-ME Maritime Meteorology
OceanRep > GEOMAR > FB2 Marine Biogeochemistry > FB2-CH Chemical Oceanography
Refereed: Yes
DOI etc.: 10.5194/acp-16-9163-2016
ISSN: 1680-7316
Date Deposited: 01 Feb 2016 11:05
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2017 12:51
URI: http://eprints.uni-kiel.de/id/eprint/31242

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