Report

UV Dosage Levels in Summer: Increased Risk of Ozone Loss from Convectively Injected Water Vapor

Science  17 Aug 2012:
Vol. 337, Issue 6096, pp. 835-839
DOI: 10.1126/science.1222978

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Abstract

The observed presence of water vapor convectively injected deep into the stratosphere over the United States can fundamentally change the catalytic chlorine/bromine free-radical chemistry of the lower stratosphere by shifting total available inorganic chlorine into the catalytically active free-radical form, ClO. This chemical shift markedly affects total ozone loss rates and makes the catalytic system extraordinarily sensitive to convective injection into the mid-latitude lower stratosphere in summer. Were the intensity and frequency of convective injection to increase as a result of climate forcing by the continued addition of CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere, increased risk of ozone loss and associated increases in ultraviolet dosage would follow.