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Analysis of Halogen Occultation Experiment HF versus CH4 correlation plots: Chemistry and transport implications

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The relationship between stratospheric CH4 and hydrogen fluoride (HF) observed simultaneously by the Halogen Occultation Experiment (HALOE) on the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS) has been examined globally. The meridional structures of the two long-lived species for the equinox and solstice seasons are found to be very similar. There is no universal relationship between CH4 and HF. The HF mixing ratios are observed to change up to 20-35% for a given CH4 from different dynamically isolated regions such as the polar vortex, midlatitudes, and the tropics, and the same magnitudes of change in CH4 could also be found for a fixed HF. Therefore one must be cautious in the usage of correlation-inferring methods for any pair of tracers in place of unavailable measurements or for evaluating chemical disturbances. -from Authors

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