Energetic particle influences on NOY and ozone in the middle atmosphere

  1. G.A. McBean and
  2. M. Hantel
  1. Charles H. Jackman

Published Online: 18 MAR 2013

DOI: 10.1029/GM075p0131

Interactions Between Global Climate Subsystems the Legacy of Hann

Interactions Between Global Climate Subsystems the Legacy of Hann

How to Cite

Jackman, C. H. (1993) Energetic particle influences on NOY and ozone in the middle atmosphere, in Interactions Between Global Climate Subsystems the Legacy of Hann (eds G.A. McBean and M. Hantel), American Geophysical Union, Washington, D. C.. doi: 10.1029/GM075p0131

Author Information

  1. Code 916, Nasa/Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md 20771

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAR 2013
  2. Published Print: 1 JAN 1993

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780875904665

Online ISBN: 9781118666593

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Keywords:

  • Climatic changes—Congresses;
  • Hydrologic cycle—Congresses;
  • Hann, Julius von 1839–1921

Summary

Natural variations in the middle atmosphere can result from the penetration of energetic protons and electrons. These energetic particles produce NOx (N, NO, NO2) through interactions with the background atmosphere, primarily at polar latitudes. The NOx species then produce other odd nitrogen compounds, NOy (N, NO, NO2, NO3, N2O5, HNO3, HNO4, CIONO2), fairly quickly in the stratosphere (on time scales of seconds to days). The long lifetime of the NOy family (up to several months in the middle atmosphere) as well as the NOy species' significant influence on stratospheric ozone abundance make the charged particle increases of NOy important. Galactic cosmic rays produce NOy in the lower stratosphere. solar protons produce NOy in the middle and upper stratosphere as well as the mesosphere, and relativistic electrons produce NOy in the upper stratosphere and mesosphere, each affecting the NOy middle atmosphere budget directly. Production of NOy constituents by solar protons has been associated with an observed polar ozone depletion during and after the August 1972 and the August, September, and October 1989 solar proton events and a polar NO increase after the July 1982 solar proton event. Auroral electron and photoelectron production of NOx in the thermosphere and its subsequent transport downwards to the polar mesosphere and upper stratosphere is thought to be an important component of the NOy budget in the middle atmosphere in the wintertime at high latitudes. It has been suggested that relativistic electrons can have a significant impact on the middle atmosphere NOy budget over a solar cycle time period. The absolute flux of relativistic electrons to the middle atmosphere needs to be quantified more thoroughly to verify this suggestion.