Stratospheric ozone with added water vapor: influence of high-altitude aircraft

Harrison, H.

Science 170(3959): 734-736


ISSN/ISBN: 0036-8075
PMID: 17776339
DOI: 10.1126/science.170.3959.734
Accession: 055935522

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Simple, steady-state models for ozone photochemistry, radiative heat balance, and eddy-diffusive mass transport can be combined to estimate water-induced changes in the stratospheric ozone concentrations and temperatures, the integrated ozone column, the solar power transmitted to the earth's surface, and the surface temperature. These changes have been computed parametrically for mixing fractions of water vapor between 3 x 10(-6) and 6.5 x 10(-6). With added water from the exhausts of projected fleets of stratospheric aircraft, the ozone column may diminish by 3.8 percent, the transmitted solar power increase by 0.07 percent, and the surface temperature rise by 0.04 degrees K in the Northern Hemisphere. Due to a cancellation of terms, temperatures in the lower stratosphere remain essentially unchanged. These results are sensitive to the form of the water profile and emphasize the potential role of convective transients near 30 kilometers.