Document Type


Publication Date




Publication Title

Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres






D05315 (1-14)


[1] The Limb Infrared Monitor of the Stratosphere (LIMS) measured polar stratospheric enhancements of NO2 mixing ratios due to energetic particle precipitation (EPP) in the Arctic winter of 1978–1979. Recently reprocessed LIMS data are compared to more recent measurements from the Michelson Interferometer for Passive Atmospheric Sounding (MIPAS) and the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier transform spectrometer (ACE-FTS) to place the LIMS measurements in the context of current observations. The amount of NOx (NO + NO2) entering the stratosphere that has been created by EPP in the mesosphere and lower thermosphere (EPP-NOx) has been quantified for the 1978–1979 and 2002–2003 through 2008–2009 Arctic winters. The NO2 enhancements in the LIMS data are similar to those in MIPAS and ACE-FTS data in the Arctic winters of 2002–2003, 2004–2005, 2006–2007, and 2007–2008. The largest enhancement by far is in 2003–2004 (∼2.2 Gmol at 1500 K), which is attributed to a combination of elevated EPP and unusual dynamics that led to strong descent in the upper stratosphere/lower mesosphere in late winter. The enhancements in 2005–2006 and 2008–2009, during which large stratospheric NOx enhancements were caused by a dynamical situation similar to that in 2003–2004, are larger than in all the other years (except 2003–2004) at 3000 K. However, by 2000 K the enhancements in 2005–2006 (2008–2009) are on the same order of magnitude as (smaller than) all other years. These results highlight the importance of the timing of the descent in determining the potential of EPP-NOx for reaching the middle stratosphere.


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Original Publication Citation

Holt, L. A., Randall, C. E., Harvey, V. L., Remsberg, E. E., Stiller, G. P., Funke, B., Bernath, P. F., & Walker, K. A. (2012) Atmospheric effects of energetic particle precipitation in the Arctic winter 1978-1979 revisited. Journal of Geographical Research: Atmospheres, 117(5) 1-14, Article D05315.


0000-0002-1255-396X (Bernath)