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See detailWhat drives the observed variability of HCN in the troposphere and lower stratosphere?
Li, Q.; Palmer, P. I.; Pumphrey, H. C. et al

in Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (2009), 9(21), 8531-8543

We use the GEOS-Chem global 3-D chemistry transport model to investigate the relative importance of chemical and physical processes that determine observed variability of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) in the ... [more ▼]

We use the GEOS-Chem global 3-D chemistry transport model to investigate the relative importance of chemical and physical processes that determine observed variability of hydrogen cyanide (HCN) in the troposphere and lower stratosphere. Consequently, we reconcile ground-based FTIR column measurements of HCN, which show annual and semi-annual variations, with recent space-borne measurements of HCN mixing ratio in the tropical lower stratosphere, which show a large two-year variation. We find that the observed column variability over the ground-based stations is determined by a superposition of HCN from several regional burning sources, with GEOS-Chem reproducing these column data with a positive bias of 5%. GEOS-Chem reproduces the observed HCN mixing ratio from the Microwave Limb Sounder and the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment satellite instruments with a mean negative bias of 20%, and the observed HCN variability with a mean negative bias of 7%. We show that tropical biomass burning emissions explain most of the observed HCN variations in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS), with the remainder due to atmospheric transport and HCN chemistry. In the mid and upper stratosphere, atmospheric dynamics progressively exerts more influence on HCN variations. The extent of temporal overlap between African and other continental burning seasons is key in establishing the apparent bienniel cycle in the UTLS. Similar analysis of other, shorter-lived trace gases have not observed the transition between annual and bienniel cycles in the UTLS probably because the signal of inter-annual variations from surface emission has been diluted before arriving at the lower stratosphere (LS), due to shorter atmospheric lifetimes. [less ▲]

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See detailATMOS version 3 water vapor measurements: Comparisons with observations from two ER-2 Lyman-alpha hygrometers, MkIV, HALOE, SAGE II, MAS, and MLS
Michelsen, Hope A.; Manney, Gloria L.; Irion, Fredrick W. et al

in Journal of Geophysical Research. Atmospheres (2002), 107(D3),

[1] We have compared a new version of Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy Experiment (ATMOS) retrievals (version 3) of stratospheric and mesospheric water vapor with observations from shuttleborne ... [more ▼]

[1] We have compared a new version of Atmospheric Trace Molecule Spectroscopy Experiment (ATMOS) retrievals (version 3) of stratospheric and mesospheric water vapor with observations from shuttleborne, satelliteborne, balloonborne, and aircraftborne instruments. These retrievals show agreement to within 5% with the MkIV observations in the middle and lower stratosphere. ATMOS agrees with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Lyman-alpha hygrometer to within 5% except for features with spatial scales less than the vertical resolution of ATMOS (such as the lower stratospheric seasonal cycle). ATMOS observations are 10-16% lower than measurements from the Harvard Lyman-alpha hygrometer in the lower stratosphere and are 7-14% higher than those from the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS; prototype version 0104) throughout most of the stratosphere. Agreement is within 7% with the Millimeter-Wave Atmospheric Sounder (MAS; version 20) in the middle and upper stratosphere, but differences are closer to 13% in the lower stratosphere. Throughout the stratosphere, agreement is within 8% with the Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE; version 19). ATMOS data from 1994 show agreement with the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment II (SAGE II; version 6) values to within 8% in the middle stratosphere, but ATMOS observations are systematically higher than those from SAGE II by as much as 41% in the lower stratosphere. In contrast, ATMOS 1985 values are systematically similar to50% lower than SAGE II values from sunset occultations in the lower stratosphere near 70 hPa but appear to be in better agreement with sunrise occultations. Version 3 retrievals in the upper stratosphere and lower mesosphere are typically 5-10% lower than version 2 values between 1 and 0.05 hPa. This reduction improves agreement with HALOE, MAS, and MLS upper atmospheric observations, but ATMOS values still tend to be higher than values from these instruments in the middle mesosphere. Agreement among the instruments compared here (except for SAGE II) is generally within 15% in the middle to lower stratosphere and mesosphere and within 10% in the middle to upper stratosphere. At altitudes near 30 km, all instruments (including SAGE II) agree to within 10%. [less ▲]

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