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 Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems
23.01.2018 | University of Exeter

nachricht How climate change weakens coral 'immune systems'
23.01.2018 | Ohio State University

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>