Atmospheric Bromine Monoxide: multi-platform observations and model calculations
Earth and related Environmental sciences
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Bromine compounds play an important role as catalyst of the ozone destruction in both the stratosphere and troposphere. While the impact of bromine species on the chemistry of the stratosphere is known to a large extend, a number of uncertainties remain regarding the sources and sinks of atmospheric bromine as well as the chemistry and impact of bromine species on the troposphere. This work describes remote-sensing observations of bromine monoxide (BrO) derived from scattered sunlight spectra in the ultraviolet region measured by ground-based multi-axis and satellite nadir viewing instruments (GOME and GOME-2). The method of differential optical absorption spectroscopy is used to retrieve the columnar concentration of BrO along the effective light path through the atmosphere. New algorithms to derive vertical columns of BrO resolved into their stratospheric and tropospheric contributions are developed and described. For the ground-based geometry a way was found to determine independently the stratospheric and tropospheric BrO columns from the diurnal variation of the BrO measurements. For the satellite observations, the contribution of the stratospheric BrO to the measured column is estimated using an innovative stratospheric BrO climatology. This climatology is based on a state-of-the-art stratospheric chemical transport model, and explicitly accounts for the impact of atmospheric dynamics and photochemistry on the stratospheric BrO distribution. As for the tropospheric fraction of the measured total BrO column, it is derived using a residual technique accounting for the effects of clouds and surface reflectivity. Supported by an extensive set of correlative data, the results presented here allow to study properly the spatial and temporal evolution of atmospheric BrO at the global scale and enable to better assess the significance of BrO in the polar planetary boundary layer and free-troposphere as well as the contribution from very short-lived brominated sources gases to the stratospheric bromine budget. We also report on the first satellite detection of BrO in a volcanic plume, using GOME-2 measurements.