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 Colorado River's connection with the ocean was a punctuated affair
16.11.2017 | University of Oregon

nachricht Researchers create largest, longest multiphysics earthquake simulation to date
14.11.2017 | Gauss Centre for Supercomputing

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>