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Keywords:

  • Arctic;
  • stratosphere;
  • denitrification;
  • modeling;
  • ozone;
  • SOLVE/THESEO 2000

[1] We have used the SLIMCAT three-dimensional chemical transport model together with observations from the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE III) Ozone Loss and Validation Experiment (SOLVE) and the Third European Stratospheric Experiment on Ozone (THESEO 2000) to quantify the effect of denitrification on Arctic ozone loss. We have used two different denitrification schemes in the model: one based on the sedimentation of ice particles containing cocondensed nitric acid trihydrate (NAT) and the other based on large NAT particles. The model was forced using both UK Meteorological Office (UKMO) and European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) analyses. In the Arctic lower stratosphere the UKMO analyzed temperatures are similar to the ECMWF, except at temperatures near the ice point where the UKMO analyses are colder by over 2 K. Consequently, the UKMO analyses predicted large regions of ice clouds, in contrast to the ECMWF. The denitrification scheme based on large NAT particles gives the best agreement with ER-2 NOy observations for both sets of meteorological analyses. Although the ice scheme and UKMO analyses also produce denitrification, the vertical extent of denitrification and renitrification does not agree as well with the observed NOy. Uncertainties in the budget of ClOy observations from the ER-2 prevent an indirect validation of the best model denitrification scheme based on these data. The denitrified model runs give the best agreement with the observed HCl and ClONO2 reservoirs in mid March. However, UKMO-forced runs generally overestimate the observed ClOx during the same period. The denitrified model runs indicate that by late March 56–74% O3 loss had occurred at 460 K and that denitrification contributed 21–30% of this loss. The model runs showing the largest O3 depletion (forced by UKMO analyses) agree well with ER-2 and ozone sonde data, although these runs overestimated ClOx.