Advertisement

Geofisica pura e applicata

, Volume 49, Issue 1, pp 137–158 | Cite as

The transport of trace substances in the atmosphere and their implications for the general circulation of the stratosphere

  • Reginald E. Newell
Article

Summary

Considerations concerning the distribution of artificial radioactive substances in the troposphere point to the occurrence of stratospheric-tropospheric exchange in the region of the discontinuity between the tropical and middle latitude tropopause. Computations of the horizontal flux of ozone in the lower stratosphere and examination of the distribution of the tracer tungsten 185 in the stratosphere suggest that the trace substances are transported northwards from the tropical stratosphere by the action of transient eddy processes in which northward moving parcels of air are sinking and southward moving parcels are rising. The amount of ozone transported varies seasonally and is a maximum in the late winter and spring. The total transport appears sufficient to account for the observed spring build-up of ozone in middle and high latitudes. The eddies invoked are shown to be consistent with the observed countergradient transport of heat in the lower stratosphere, the pattern of stratospheric isentropes and the covariance values found from meridional and vertical velocities. The combined results indicate a new view concerning the mechanics of stratospheric motions as contrasted with the classical ideas of mean meridional motions.

Keywords

Lower Stratosphere Transient Eddy Trace Substance Horizontal Flux Meridional Motion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Zusammenfassung

Erwägungen im Hinblick auf die Verteilung künstlicher radio-aktiver Bestandteile in der Troposphäre deuten auf das Auftreten von stratosphärischem-troposphärischem Austausch in der Diskontinuäts-Zone zwischen der tropischen und mittleren Breite in der «Tropopause». Berechnungen des horizontalen Einfliessens des Ozons in der niedrigeren Stratosphäre und Untersuchung der Verteilung des Spurmaterials Wolfram 185 in der Stratosphäre deuten darauf hin, dass die Spuren-Bestandteile nordwärts transportiert werden von der tropischen Stratosphäre durch die Wirkung vorübergehender Wirbel-Prozesse; die Luftmassen, die sich in nördlicher Richtung bewegen, sinken, die in südlicher Bewegung, steigen. Der transportierte Ozon-Gehalt wechselt mit der Jahreszeit, ist maximal spät in Winter und Frühjahr. Der gesamte Transport erscheint genügend, um den beobachteten Frühjahrs-Zuwachs von Ozon in den mittleren und höheren Breitegraden zu rechtfertingen. Die in Betracht kommenden Wirbel scheinen in Übereinstimmung zu sein mit dem beobachtetem Hitze-Transport in der niedrigen Stratosphäre entgegen dem Aufstieg, mit dem üblichen Verlauf der stratosphärischen Isotropen und den Werten, die für die Co-Varianten gefunden wurden von meridionalen und vertikalen Geschwindigkeiten. Die kombinierten Resultate geben einen neuen Einblick in den Mechanismus der strato-sphärischen Strömungen in Kontrast zu den klassischen Ideen einer durchschnittlichen meridionalen Strömung.

Résumé

Des considérations concernant la distribution des substances radio-actives artificielles dans la troposphère indiquent l'occurrence d'un échange strato-sphérique-troposphérique dans la région de discontinuité entre les latitudes tropicales et centrales de la tropopause. Des computations du flux horizontal d'ozone dans la basse stratosphère et l'examen de la distribution du traceur tungstène 185 dans la stratosphère suggèrent que les trace-substances soient transportées vers le nord de la stratosphère tropicale par l'action des procès de tourbillon transitoire dans lequel les parcelles d'air mouvant vers le nord s'enfoncent et les parcelles mouvant vers le sud s'élèvent. Le total d'ozone transporté varie periodiquement et devient maximum pendant la fin de l'hiver et du printemps. Le transport total paraît suffisant à justifier l'élévation de l'ozone observée au printemps aux latitudes moyennes et supérieures. Les tourbillons invoqués se montrent consistant au contregradient du transport de chaleur observé dans la basse stratosphère, le modèle des isentropes et les valeurs covariées se trouvent dependre des vitesses méridionales et verticales. Les résultats combinés indiquent une nouvelle vue sur les mécaniques des mouvements stratosphériques contrastant des idées classiques aux mouvements moyens méridionaux.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Alexander L. T., 1959:Strontium 90 distribution as determined by the analysis of soils. Fallout from Nuclear Weapons Tests, Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 278–371.Google Scholar
  2. Allington, K., B. W. Boville &F. K. Hare, 1960:Midwinter ozone variations and stratospheric flow over Canada, 1958–59. Tellus, 3, 266–273.Google Scholar
  3. Brewer A. W., 1949:Evidence for a world circulation provided by the measurements of helium and water vapour distribution in the stratosphere. Quart. J. R. Met. Soc., 75, 351–363.Google Scholar
  4. Brewer A. W., 1960:The transfer of atmospheric ozone into the troposphere. Sci. Rep. Planetary Circ. Proj., Dept. of Met., M.I.T.Google Scholar
  5. Burton W. M. &N. G. Stewart, 1960Use of long-lived natural radioactivity as an atmospheric tracer. Nature, 186, 584–589.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Craig R. A., 1950:The observations and photochemistry of atmospheric ozone and their meteorological significance. Meteor. Monograph., 1, No. 2.Google Scholar
  7. Dobson G. M. B., 1956:Origin and distribution of the polyatomic molecules in the atmosphere. Proc. Roy. Soc., A, 236, 187–192.Google Scholar
  8. Dütsch H. U., 1946:Photochemische Theorie des atmosphärischen Ozons unter Berücksichtigung von Nichtgleichgewichtszuständen und Luftbewegungen. Zürich Doctoral Dissertation.Google Scholar
  9. Dyer A. J. &S.-A. Yeo, 1960:A radioactive fallout study at Melbourne, Australia. Tellus, 12, 195–199.Google Scholar
  10. Feely H. W. &Spar J., 1960:Tungsten-185 from nuclear bomb tests as a tracer for stratospheric meteorology. Nature, 188, 1062–1064.Google Scholar
  11. Godson W. L., 1960:Total ozone and the middle stratosphere over arctic and sub-arctic areas in winter and spring. Quart. J. R. Met. Soc., 86, 301–317.Google Scholar
  12. Jensen C. E., 1960:Energy transformation and vertical flux processes over the northern hemisphere. Sci. Rep. No. 1, Planetary Cir. Proj., Dept. of Met., M.I.T.Google Scholar
  13. Libby W. F., 1956:Current Research Findings on Radioactive Fallout. Proc. National Academy of Sciences, 52, 945–962.Google Scholar
  14. Libby W. F. &C. E. Palmer, 1960:Stratospheric Mixing from Radio-active Fallout. J. Geophys. Res., 65, 3307–3317.Google Scholar
  15. Lockhart L. B., Jr.,R. A. Baus &I. H. Blifford, Jr., 1959:Fission product radioactivity in the air along the 80th meridian, January – June 1957. Tellus, 11, 83–90.Google Scholar
  16. Lockhart L. B., Jr. &R. L. Patterson, Jr., 1960:Measurements of the air concentration of gross fission product radioactivity during the IGY July 1957 – December 1958. Tellus, 12, 298–307.Google Scholar
  17. Lockhart L. B. Jr.,R. L. Patterson, Jr.,A. W. Saunders, Jr. &R. W. Black, 1960:Fission product radioactivity in the air along the 80th meridian (west) during 1959. Naval Res. Lab. Rep. 5528. Washington, D. C.Google Scholar
  18. Machta L., 1957:The Nature of Radioactive Fallout and its Effect on Man. Washington: U. S. Government Printing Office, 141–161.Google Scholar
  19. Martell E. A., 1959:Atmospheric aspects of strontium 90 fallout. Science, 129, 1197–1206.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Martell E. A. &P. J. Drevinsky, 1960:Atmospheric transport of artificial radio-activity. Science, 132, 1523–1531.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. Martin D. W., 1956:Contributions to the study of atmospheric ozone. Sci. Rep., No. 6, Gen. Circ. Proj., Dept. of Met., M.I.T.Google Scholar
  22. Mastenbrook H. J. & J. E. Dinger, 1960:The measurement of water vapour distribution in the stratosphere. Naval Res. Lab. Rept. 5551, Washington, D. C.Google Scholar
  23. Mateer C. L. &W. L. Godson, 1960:The vertical distribution of atmospheric ozone over Canadian stations from umkehr observations. Quart. J. R. Met. Soc., 86, 512–518.Google Scholar
  24. Miyake Y. &Kawamura K., 1956:Studies on atmospheric ozone at Tokyo. Sci. Proc. Inst. Assoc. Met., U.I.G.G., Rome, 1954. Butterworths, London, 172–176.Google Scholar
  25. Murgatroyd R. J. &F. Singleton, 1961:Possible meridional circulations in the stratosphere and mesosphere. Quart J. R. Met. Soc., 87, 125–135.Google Scholar
  26. Newell R. E., 1960-a:A study of tropospheric cellular convection and of its role in vertical transport from weather radar and radioactivity data. Sc. D. Dissertation, M.I.T.Google Scholar
  27. Newell R. E., 1960-b:A pilot study of the horizontal transport of fission products in the troposphere. Sci. Rep. Planetary Circ. Proj., Dept. of Met., M.I.T.Google Scholar
  28. Nicolet M., 1958:Aeronomic conditions in the mesophere and lower thermosphere. Sci. Rep. No. 102, Ionospheric Res Lab., Pennsylvania State University.Google Scholar
  29. Ohring G. &H. S. Muench, 1960:Relationships between ozone and meteorological parameters in the lower stratosphere. J. Met., 17, 195–206.Google Scholar
  30. Paetzold H. K., 1956:New experimental and theoretical investigations on the atmospheric ozone layer. Sci. Proc. Inst. Assoc. Met., I.U.G.G., Rome, 1954, Butterworths, London, 201–212.Google Scholar
  31. Pierson, D. H., R. N. Crooks &E. M. R. Fisher, 1960:Radioactive fall-out in air and rain.Aere R 3358, H.M.S.O., London.Google Scholar
  32. Priestley C. H. B., 1949:Heat transport and zonal stress between latitudes. Quart. J.R. Met. Soc., 75, 28–40.Google Scholar
  33. Ramanathan K. R., 1956:Atmospheric ozone and the general circulation of the atmosphere. Sci. Proc. Inst. Assoc. Met., I.U.G.G., Rome 1954, Butterworths, London, 3–24.Google Scholar
  34. Ramanathan K. R. &R. N. Kulkarni, 1960:Mean meridional distributions of ozone in different seasons calculated from umkehr observations and probable vertical transport mechanisms. Quart. J. R. Met. Soc., 86, 144–155.Google Scholar
  35. Reed R. J., 1949:The effects of atmospheric circulation on ozone distribution and variations. Sc. D. Dissertation, M.I.T.Google Scholar
  36. Regener V. H., 1956:New experimental results on atmospheric ozone. Sci. Proc. Inst. Assoc., Met., I.U.G.G., Rome 1954, Butterworths, London, 181–187.Google Scholar
  37. Staley D. O., 1960:Evaluation of potentialvorticity changes near the tropopause and the related vertical motions, vertical advection of vorticity, and transfer of radioactive debris from stratosphere to troposphere. J. Meteor., 17, 591–620.Google Scholar
  38. Starr V. P., 1951:A note on the eddy transport of angular momentum. Quart. J. R. Met. Soc., 77, 44–50.Google Scholar
  39. Starr, V. P. &R. M. White, 1951:A hemispherical study of the atmospheric angular-momentum balance. Quart. J. R. Met. Soc., 77, 215–225.Google Scholar
  40. Starr V. P. &R. M. White, 1952:Schemes for the study of hemispheric exchange processes. Quart. J. R. Met. Soc., 78, 407–410.Google Scholar
  41. Stebbins A. K., 1960:A special report of the high altitude sampling program. DASA-532B, Defense Atomic Support Agency, Washington, D. C.Google Scholar
  42. Stewart N. G., R. N. Crooks &E. M. R. Fisher, 1956:The radiological dose to persons in the U.K. due to debris from nuclear test exploisions prior to January, 1956.Aere HP/R 2017. H.M.S.O. London.Google Scholar
  43. Stewart N. G., R. G. D. Osmond, R. N. Crooks &E. M. Fisher, 1957:The world-wide deposition of long-lived fission products from nuclear test explosions.Aere HP/R 2354. H.M.S.O. London.Google Scholar
  44. Tucker G. B., 1959:Mean meridional circulation in the atmosphere. Quart. J. R. Met. Soc., 85, 209–224.Google Scholar
  45. White R. M., 1954:The counter-gradient flux of sensible heat in the lower stratosphere. Tellus, 6, 177–179.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Istituto Geofisico Italiano 1961

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reginald E. Newell
    • 1
  1. 1.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridge 39

Personalised recommendations