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Case study on the influence of synoptic-scale processes on the paired H2O–O3 distribution in the UTLS across a North Atlantic jet stream

Schäfler, Andreas and Sprenger, Michael and Wernli, Heini and Fix, Andreas and Wirth, Martin (2023) Case study on the influence of synoptic-scale processes on the paired H2O–O3 distribution in the UTLS across a North Atlantic jet stream. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP), 23 (2), pp. 999-1018. Copernicus Publications. doi: 10.5194/acp-23-999-2023. ISSN 1680-7316.

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Official URL: https://dx.doi.org/10.5194/acp-23-999-2023


During a research flight of the Wave-driven ISentropic Exchange (WISE) campaign, which was conducted over the eastern North Atlantic on 1 October 2017, the composition of the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere (UTLS) across the North Atlantic jet stream was observed by airborne, range-resolved differential absorption lidar (DIAL) profiles. We investigate how the high variability in the paired H2O and O3 distribution along the two-dimensional lidar cross section is affected by synoptic-scale weather systems, as revealed by the Lagrangian history of the observed air masses. To this aim, the lidar observations are combined with 10 d backward trajectories along which meteorological parameters and derived turbulence diagnostics are traced. The transport and mixing characteristics are then projected to the vertical cross sections of the lidar measurements and to the H2O–O3 phase space to explore linkages with the evolution of synoptic-scale weather systems and their interaction. Tropical, midlatitude, and arctic weather systems in the region of the jet stream and the related transport and mixing explain the complex H2O and O3 distribution to a large extent: O3-rich stratospheric air from the high Arctic interacts with midlatitude air from the North Pacific in a northward-deflected jet stream associated with an anticyclone over the US and forms a filament extending into the tropopause fold beneath the jet stream. In the troposphere, lifting related to convection in the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and two tropical cyclones that continuously injected H2O into dry descending air from the tropical Atlantic and Pacific form filamentary H2O structures. One tropical cyclone that transitioned into a midlatitude cyclone lifted moist boundary layer air, explaining the highest tropospheric H2O values. During the two days before the observations, the air with mixed tropospheric and stratospheric characteristics experienced frequent turbulence along the North Atlantic jet stream, indicating a strong influence of turbulence on the formation of the extratropical transition layer (ExTL). This investigation highlights the complexity of stirring and mixing processes and their close connection to interacting tropospheric weather systems from the tropics to the polar regions, which strongly influenced the observed fine-scale H2O and O3 distributions. The identified non-local character of mixing should be kept in mind when interpreting mixing lines in tracer–tracer phase space diagrams.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/196738/
Document Type:Article
Title:Case study on the influence of synoptic-scale processes on the paired H2O–O3 distribution in the UTLS across a North Atlantic jet stream
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Schäfler, AndreasDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-6165-6623UNSPECIFIED
Wernli, HeiniIAC, ETH Zürich, Schweizhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-9674-4837UNSPECIFIED
Fix, AndreasDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-2818-9290UNSPECIFIED
Wirth, MartinDLR, IPAhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-5951-2252UNSPECIFIED
Date:20 January 2023
Journal or Publication Title:Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP)
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:Yes
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 999-1018
Publisher:Copernicus Publications
Keywords:Lidar, DIAL, water vapor, ozone, transport, mixing
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Earth Observation
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EO - Earth Observation
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - LIDAR research and development
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Atmospheric Physics > Lidar
Deposited By: Schäfler, Andreas
Deposited On:24 Aug 2023 08:54
Last Modified:19 Oct 2023 10:34

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