In situ measurements of BrO in the Arctic stratosphere

D. W. Toohey, J. G. Anderson, W. H. Brune, K. R. Chan

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Mixing ratios of BrO have been measured in the arctic lower stratosphere with an instrument mounted on the NASA ER‐2 aircraft. Observations from fourteen flights above the Arctic Circle in January and February of 1989 defined mixing ratios within the vortex of 4±2 parts per trillion by volume (pptv) at a potential temperature of 400 K, rising to 8±2 pptv at 470 K. These values are twice as large as values found at equivalent potential temperatures at lower latitudes, and are comparable to the mixing ratios found inside the antarctic polar vortex. Within the statistical uncertainty of the measurements, no BrO was observed in darkness at any time either inside or outside of the vortex, indicating that active bromine was sequestered in long‐lived reservoirs, probably BrONO2 and BrCl. These measurements, in conjunction with measurements of ClO, demonstrate that the interaction of bromine and chlorine could represent a major sink for ozone in the presence of sunlight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)513-516
Number of pages4
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Mar 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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