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Quantification of the transport of chemical constituents from the polar vortex to midlatitudes in the lower stratosphere using the high-resolution advection model MIMOSA and effective diffusivity

Abstract : The observed decrease of ozone in the northern midlatitude lower stratosphere is only partially reproduced by chemical models. The transport of ozone‐depleted air from the polar vortex is one of the proposed mechanisms to explain the discrepancy. Here we present a study on the quantification of the air mass transported from the polar vortex to midlatitude during the four winters 1996–1997 to 1999–2000, in relation with vortex filamentation and break up, using the high‐resolution advection model MIMOSA on isentropic surfaces. Sensitivity tests show that the advection model is able to predict the location of polar filaments with accuracy better than 100 km, limited by uncertainties in meteorological advecting wind fields. The effective diffusivity diagnostic is used to evaluate the intensity of the vortex edge barrier and to quantify the transport of air from the polar vortex to midlatitude. The intensity of the polar barrier is increasing with height from 400 to 550 K and is nearly constant above. During periods with a cold and undisturbed vortex, favorable to chlorine activation, the transport is very weak. This suggests that the midwinter vortex filamentation plays a minor role in the midlatitude ozone decline. In the opposite limit, during a stratospheric warming up to 30% of the polar vortex air is transported to midlatitudes. The cumulative transport from early January to end of April across the polar edge varies from almost 5% of the polar vortex air at 675 K in 1997 to 50% at 435 K in 1999.
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Alain Hauchecorne, Sophie Godin, Marion Marchand, Birgit Heese, Claude Souprayen. Quantification of the transport of chemical constituents from the polar vortex to midlatitudes in the lower stratosphere using the high-resolution advection model MIMOSA and effective diffusivity. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, American Geophysical Union, 2002, 107 (D20), pp.SOL 32-1-SOL 32-13. ⟨10.1029/2001JD000491⟩. ⟨insu-03104938⟩

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