Atmospheric Bromine and Ozone Perturbations in the Lower Stratosphere

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  • 1 California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. CA 91125
  • | 2 Goddard Institute for Space Studies, New York, NY 10025
  • | 3 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA 91103
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Abstract

The role of bromine compounds in the photochemistry of the natural and perturbed stratosphere has been reexamined using an expanded reaction scheme and the results of recent laboratory studies of several key reactions. The most important finding is that through the reaction BrO + CIO → Br + Cl + O2, there is a synergistic effect between bromine and chlorine which results in an efficient catalytic destruction of ozone in the lower stratosphere. One-dimensional photochemical model results indicate that BrO is the major bromine species throughout the stratosphere, followed by BrONO2, HBr, HOBr and Br. We show from the foregoing that bromine is more efficient than chlorine as a catalyst for destroying ozone, and discuss the implications for stratospheric ozone of possible future growth in the industrial and agricultural use of bromine. Bromine concentrations of 20 pptv (2 × 10−11), as suggested by recent observations, can decrease the present-day integrated ozone column density by 2.4%, and can enhance ozone depletion from steady-state chlorofluoromethane release at 1973 rates by a factor of 1.1–1.2.

Abstract

The role of bromine compounds in the photochemistry of the natural and perturbed stratosphere has been reexamined using an expanded reaction scheme and the results of recent laboratory studies of several key reactions. The most important finding is that through the reaction BrO + CIO → Br + Cl + O2, there is a synergistic effect between bromine and chlorine which results in an efficient catalytic destruction of ozone in the lower stratosphere. One-dimensional photochemical model results indicate that BrO is the major bromine species throughout the stratosphere, followed by BrONO2, HBr, HOBr and Br. We show from the foregoing that bromine is more efficient than chlorine as a catalyst for destroying ozone, and discuss the implications for stratospheric ozone of possible future growth in the industrial and agricultural use of bromine. Bromine concentrations of 20 pptv (2 × 10−11), as suggested by recent observations, can decrease the present-day integrated ozone column density by 2.4%, and can enhance ozone depletion from steady-state chlorofluoromethane release at 1973 rates by a factor of 1.1–1.2.

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