L. A. Holt, et al.
Atmospheric effects of energetic particle precipitation in the Arctic winter 1978–1979 revisited
Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, 117(5), D05315, 2012; doi: 10.1029/2011JD016663
H2O HDO H218O H217O NO2 Middle atmosphere Energetic particles: precipitating Middle atmosphere dynamics ACE LIMS MIPAS NOx atmosphere energetic particle precipitation


[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.


  author = "L. A. Holt and C. E. Randall and V. L. Harvey and E. E. Remsberg and G. P. Stiller and B. Funke and P. F. Bernath and K. A. Walker",
  title = "Atmospheric effects of energetic particle precipitation in the Arctic winter 1978–1979 revisited",
  year = 2012,
  journal = "Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres",
  volume = 117,
  number = 5,
  pages = "D05315",
  month = "Mar",
  keywords = "H2O, HDO, H218O, H217O, NO2, Middle atmosphere, Energetic particles: precipitating, Middle atmosphere dynamics, ACE, LIMS, MIPAS, NOx, atmosphere, energetic particle precipitation",
  doi = "10.1029/2011JD016663",
  url = ""
Site Navigation Publication index Dataplots