OH in the tropical upper troposphere and its relationships to solar radiation and reactive nitrogen
- First Online:
- Cite this article as:
- Gao, R.S., Rosenlof, K.H., Fahey, D.W. et al. J Atmos Chem (2014) 71: 55. doi:10.1007/s10874-014-9280-2
In situ measurements of [OH], [HO2] (square brackets denote species concentrations), and other chemical species were made in the tropical upper troposphere (TUT). [OH] showed a robust correlation with solar zenith angle. Beyond this dependence, however, [OH] did not correlate to its primary source, the product of [O3] and [H2O] ([O3]•[H2O]), or its sink [NOy]. This suggests that [OH] is heavily buffered in the TUT. One important exception to this result is found in regions with very low [O3], [NO], and [NOy]. Under these conditions, [OH] is highly suppressed, pointing to the critical role of NO in sustaining OH in the TUT and the possibility of low [OH] over the western Pacific warm pool due to strong marine convections bringing NO-poor air to the TUT. In contrast to [OH], [HOx] ([OH] + [HO2]) correlated reasonably well with [O3]•[H2O]/[NOy], suggesting that [O3]•[H2O] and [NOy] are the significant source and sink, respectively, of [HOx].