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Potential impact of iodine on tropospheric levels of ozone and other critical oxidants

  • Author(s): Davis, D
  • Crawford, J
  • Liu, S
  • McKeen, S
  • Bandy, A
  • Thornton, D
  • Rowland, F
  • Blake, D
  • et al.

Published Web Location Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

A new analysis of tropospheric iodine chemistry suggests that under certain conditions this chemistry could have a significant impact on the rate of destruction of tropospheric ozone. In addition, it suggests that modest shifts could result in the critical radical ratio HO /OH. This analysis is based on the first ever observations of CH I in the middle and upper free troposphere as recorded during the NASA Pacific Exploratory Mission in the western Pacific. Improved evaluations of several critical gas kinetic and photochemical rate coefficients have also been used. Three iodine source scenarios were explored in arriving at the above conclusions. These include: (1) the assumption that the release of CH I from the marine environment was the only iodine source with boundary layer levels reflecting a low-productivity source region, (2) same as scenario 1 but with an additional marine iodine source in the form of higher molecular weight iodocarbons, and (3) source scenario 2 but with the release of all iodocarbons occurring in a region of high biological productivity. Based on one-dimensional model simulations, these three source scenarios resulted in estimated I (I =I + IO + HI + HOI + 2I O +INO ) yields for the upper troposphere of 0.5, 1.5, and 7 parts per trillion by volume (pptv), respectively. Of these, only at the 1.5 and 7 pptv level were meaningful enhancements in O destruction estimated. Total column O destruction for these cases averaged 6 and 30%, respectively. At present we believe the 1.5 pptv I source scenario to be more typical of the tropical marine environment; however, for specific regions of the Pacific (i.e., marine upwelling regions) and for specific seasons of the year, much higher levels might be experienced. Even so, significant uncertainties still remain in the proposed iodine chemistry. In particular, much uncertainty remains in the magnitude of the marine iodine source. In addition, several rate coefficients for gas phase processes need further investigating, as does the efficiency for removal of iodine due to aerosol scavenging processes. Copyright 1996 by the American Geophysical Union. 2 3 3 x x 2 2 x 3 3 x

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