Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

European satellites provide new insight into ozone-depleting chemical species

27.02.2009
Using data from the MIPAS and GOME-2 satellite instruments, scientists have for the first time detected important bromine species in the atmosphere. These new measurements will help scientists to understand better sources of ozone-depleting species and to improve simulations of stratospheric ozone chemistry.

Despite the detection of bromine monoxide (BrO) in the atmosphere some 20 years ago, bromine nitrate (BrONO2) was first observed in 2008 when scientists from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology discovered the gas’s weak signal with data from MIPAS (the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding).

"By comparing the novel MIPAS BrONO2 dataset with model calculations and BrO measurements by SCIAMACHY on Envisat, our general understanding of stratospheric bromine chemistry has been clearly confirmed," said Michael Höpfner of Germany’s Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. "These new observations also enable an independent estimation of the total amount of bromine in the stratosphere, which is important for understanding the origins of stratospheric bromine."

The stratospheric ozone layer that protects life on Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays is vulnerable to certain chemicals in the atmosphere such as chlorine and bromine. In spite of its much smaller concentrations, bromine is actually, after chlorine, the second most important halogen species destroying ozone in the stratosphere.

Since chlorine levels in the stratosphere have been dropping since the ban on man-made chlorofluorocarbons, bromine will become even more important in stratospheric ozone chemistry. Bromine’s importance will increase in part because there are more natural sources, such as volcanoes, for bromine emissions than for chlorine.

Volcanoes have long been known to play an important role in influencing stratospheric ozone chemistry because of the gases and particles they shoot into the atmosphere. New findings from space suggest they are also a very important source of atmospheric bromine.

The reactive chemical bromine monoxide has been measured in a number of volcanic plumes around the globe, but until recently it had never been measured by a space instrument.

In August 2008, the Kasatochi Volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Islands erupted explosively, sending a cloud of volcanic ash and gas more than 11 km into the atmosphere.

The following day, scientists from the Brussels-based Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy identified high bromine concentrations in the vicinity of the volcano with Envisat’s SCIAMACHY instrument and the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment-2 (GOME-2) instrument aboard MetOp-A. (MetOp-A, developed by ESA and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), is Europe's first polar-orbiting satellite dedicated to operational meteorology.)

"Because of the good regional coverage of the GOME-2 instrument, the transport of the Kasatochi BrO plume could be followed for six days after the eruption," Michel Van Roozendael from the Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy said. "Using the Lagrangian dispersion model, results show that the volcanic BrO was directly injected into the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere at altitudes ranging from 8 - 12 km.

"The total mass of reactive bromine released in the atmosphere was estimated around 50 - 120 tonnes, which corresponds to approximately 25% of the previously estimated total annual mass of reactive bromine emitted by volcanic activity."

Mariangela D'Acunto | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.int
http://www.esa.int/esaEO/SEM5P3XX3RF_planet_0.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle
25.04.2017 | Rice University

nachricht New atlas provides highest-resolution imagery of the Polar Regions seafloor
25.04.2017 | British Antarctic Survey

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle

25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

A room with a view - or how cultural differences matter in room size perception

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

Warm winds: New insight into what weakens Antarctic ice shelves

25.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>