A model for studying the composition and chemical effects of stratospheric aerosols


  • Azadeh Tabazadeh,

  • Richard P. Turco,

  • Mark Z. Jacobson


We developed polynomial expressions for the temperature dependence of the mean binary and water activity coefficients for H2SO4 and HNO3 solutions. These activities were used in an equilibrium model to predict the composition of stratospheric aerosols under a wide range of environmental conditions. For typical concentrations of H2O, H2SO4, HNO3, HCl, HBr, HF, and HOCl in the lower stratosphere, the aerosol composition is estimated as a function of the local temperature and the ambient relative humidity. For temperatures below 200 K, our results indicate that (1) HNO3 contributes a significant mass fraction to stratospheric aerosols, and (2) HCl solubility is considerably affected by HNO3 dissolution into sulfate aerosols. We also show that, in volcanically disturbed periods, changes in stratospheric aerosol composition can significantly alter the microphysics that leads to the formation of polar stratospheric clouds. The effects caused by HNO3 dissolution on the physical and chemical properties of stratospheric aerosols are discussed.