Lightning NOx: impact of thunderstorms and TLE's on stratospheric ozone

Jean-Pierre Pommereau 1
1 STRATO - LATMOS
LATMOS - Laboratoire Atmosphères, Milieux, Observations Spatiales
Abstract : Nitrogen oxides are key species controlling ozone chemistry in the stratosphere. Mostly originating from the photolysis of N2O, a gas source emitted at the surface by plants and fertilizers, they are also produced by lightning within the 10-15 km altitude range, particularly in the tropics, by ionisation of oxygen and nitrogen and eventually also directly in the lower stratosphere by Blue-jets. The NOx concentration due to lightning (called LNOx) observed from high altitude aircraft and long duration circumnavigating balloons during the European projects TROCCINOX and HIBISCUS was shown to increase the NOx concentration by a factor two in the upper troposphere over tropical continents compared to oceanic areas where lightning is less frequent. The question is to know how much TLEs could also contribute directly into the stratosphere. Although models are predicting significant NOx production by TLEs in the stratosphere, little signature was observed on MIPAS, GOMOS or HALOE profiles during the summer thunderstorm season, but these analyses apply to zonal mean profiles only and moreover the measurements are limited to altitudes above 22 km, leaving open the possibility of a significant contribution of blue-jets between the tropopause around 16 km and 22 km. New balloon experiments and satellite data analyses are in progress which hopefully could provide a clearer answer on the possible NOx production by TLEs.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 4, 2013 - 5:02:18 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 15, 2019 - 3:32:50 AM

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  • HAL Id : hal-00808009, version 1

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Jean-Pierre Pommereau. Lightning NOx: impact of thunderstorms and TLE's on stratospheric ozone. 1st Thunderstorm Effects on the Atmosphere-Ionosphere System (TEA-IS) summer school, Jun 2012, Torremolinos, Málaga, Spain. ⟨hal-00808009⟩

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