A role for newly forming sea ice in springtime polar tropospheric ozone loss? Observational evidence from Halley station, Antarctica

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Abstract

[1] Since March 2003, measurements of surface ozone have been made at the British Antarctic Survey Clean Air Sector Laboratory (CASLab) at Halley station in coastal Antarctica. Detailed measurements of boundary layer meteorology, as well as standard meteorological parameters, are also measured at the CASLab. Combining these data allows us to probe the transport pathway of air masses during ozone depletion events (ODEs). ODEs were observed at Halley on several occasions during Antarctic spring 2003. On some occasions, extremely rapid loss of ozone was observed (loss of 16 ppbv in 1 min on one occasion), which was associated with regional-scale transport. For each such event during 2003, the air mass originated in the southern Weddell Sea, an area of vigorous sea-ice production. On other occasions the development of the event and its recovery were strongly associated with the build-up and decline of a stable boundary layer. In these cases, air masses had had recent contact with a nearby open water lead where sea-ice production is known to occur. The data presented here are entirely consistent with the idea that halogens responsible for ozone loss are derived during new sea-ice formation from an associated surface such as brine slush or frost flowers.

Ancillary