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Sensitivity of Polar Stratospheric Ozone Loss to Uncertainties in Chemical Reaction Kinetics

By Anne R. Douglass, Richard S. Stolarski, S. Randolph Kawa and Paul A. Newman


Several recent observational and laboratory studies of processes involved in polar stratospheric ozone loss have prompted a reexamination of aspect of out understanding for this key indicator of global change. To a large extent, our confidence in understanding and projecting changes in polar and global ozone is based on our ability to to simulate these process in numerical models of chemistry and transport. These models depend on laboratory-measured kinetic reaction rates and photlysis cross section to simulate molecular interactions. In this study we use a simple box-model scenario for Antarctic ozone to estimate the uncertainty in loss attributable to known reaction kinetic uncertainties. Following the method of earlier work, rates and uncertainties from the latest laboratory evaluation are applied in random combinations. We determine the key reaction and rates contributing the largest potential errors and compare the results to observations to evaluate which combinations are consistent with atmospheric data. Implications for our theoretical and practical understanding of polar ozone loss will be assessed

Topics: Geophysics
Year: 2008
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