Diagnosing the Transport of Pollution to the Upper Troposphere / Lower Stratosphere using Aura Microwave Limb Sounder Measurements of Methyl Chloride and Other Trace Gases

Wednesday, 17 December 2014: 8:15 AM
Jessica L. Neu1, Michelle L Santee1, Douglas Edward Kinnison2 and J F Lamarque2, (1)Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA, United States, (2)National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, United States
Methyl chloride (CH3Cl) is the largest natural source of chlorine in the stratosphere, and its relative importance in stratospheric ozone chemistry is expected to increase in the coming years as anthropogenic sources of chlorine decline following strict emissions controls. Biomass burning is the second largest source of CH3Cl (the first being biogenic production by vegetation), and measurements from the Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) suggest that the seasonal and interannual variability of CH3Cl in the upper troposphere / lower stratosphere (UTLS) largely reflect variability in biomass burning and vertical transport from source regions by convective activity. We compare the spatial and temporal variability of UTLS CH3Cl in simulations from the Whole Atmosphere Chemistry Climate Model (WACCM) nudged to the Modern Era Retrospective Reanalysis (MERRA) wind fields to the MLS measurements for 2005-2012. Using sensitivity simulations in which we perturb emissions from various CH3Cl sources and source regions, we examine what the MLS measurements of CH3Cl and other trace gases such as CO can tell us about the sources and transport of pollution to the radiatively critical UTLS region.