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Stratospheric water vapour

Water vapour is a chemically, physically, and radiatively active trace gas, and its distribution in the stratosphere determines significant climatic implications. Besides methane oxidation in the upper stratosphere, the main source of stratospheric H2O is the tropical tropopause region. Yet, the water vapour distribution in the Arctic stratosphere

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Project date

Starts
2002-01-01

Ends
2020-09-30

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Project type

  • long-term monitoring

Discipline

  • atmosphere

Project Keywords

  • atmosphere / atmospheric water vapor / water vapor profiles

Fieldwork information

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Type Period From To Coordinates Station Location
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Summary

Water vapour is a chemically, physically, and radiatively active trace gas, and its distribution in the stratosphere determines significant climatic implications. Besides methane oxidation in the upper stratosphere, the main source of stratospheric H2O is the tropical tropopause region. Yet, the water vapour distribution in the Arctic stratosphere bares evidence for dynamical aspects on different scales. Small scale filamentary structures at the polar vortex edge link trace gas distribution to the dynamical Rossby wave activity. At the same time, the detection of water vapour profiles during the winter season reveals the large scale descending motion inside the polar vortex. Being a greenhouse gas, water vapour also affects the radiative budget of the stratosphere. In the presence of very low temperatures, the sedimentation of polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) ice particles can lead to dehydration. With our high resolution measurements we contribute to the assessment of the water vapour distribution in the Arctic stratosphere. Activities at the station: 2002 --> 3 Launches of Snow White Sensor-Packages prepared by a team from the University of Nagoya and University of Kyoto. 2002-2004 --> Launch of several NOAA frostpoint hygrometers during winter, in cooperation with H.Voemel and S. Oltmans (NOAA, Boulder). 2004-2012 --> Launch of several FLASH-B hygrometers during winter, in cooperation with V.Yushkov and S. Khaykin (CAO, Moscow).

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