Production of odd hydrogen in the mesosphere during the January 2005 solar proton event



[1] Using measurements from the MLS/Aura and GOMOS/Envisat instruments together with a 1-D ion and neutral chemistry model we study the changes in odd hydrogen and ozone in the mesosphere during the January 2005 solar proton event. The unique observational data allow us for the first time to directly test the HOx production theory which involves complex ion chemistry. MLS measurements from the northern polar region show increases of OH concentrations by over 100% around the stratopause, and by up to one order of magnitude in the middle mesosphere after the onset of the SPE. GOMOS measurements indicate decreases in O3 concentration throughout the lower and middle mesosphere, by up to 90%. The model predictions are in reasonable agreement with the observations. We point out that models using the so-called PHOx/Q parameterization to include the effects of ion chemistry could underestimate the HOx production and the resulting ozone depletion.