Chlorine Oxide in the Stratospheric Ozone Layer: Ground-Based Detection and Measurement

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Science  13 Mar 1981:
Vol. 211, Issue 4487, pp. 1158-1161
DOI: 10.1126/science.211.4487.1158


Stratospheric chlorine oxide, a significant intermediate product in the catalytic destruction of ozone by atomic chlorine, has been detected and measured by a ground-based 204-gigahertz, millimeter-wave receiver. Data taken at latitude 42°N on 17 days between 10 January and 18 February 1980 yield an average chlorine oxide column density of1.05 x 1014 per square centimeter or2/3 that of the average of eight in situ balloon flight measurements (excluding the anomalously high data of 14 July 1977) made over the past 4 years at 32°N. We find less chlorine oxide below 35 kilometers and a larger vertical gradient than predicted by theoretical models of the stratospheric ozone layer.