Seasonal and Diurnal Ozone Variations: Observations and Modeling

Ozone mixing ratios observed by the Bordeaux microwave radiometer between 1995 and 2002 in an altitude range 25–75 km show diurnal variations in the mesosphere and seasonal variations in terms of annual and semi-annual oscillations (SAO) in the stratosphere and in the mesosphere. The observations with 10–15 km altitude resolution are presented and compared to photochemical and transport model results. Diurnal ozone variations are analyzed by averaging the years 1995–1997 for four representative months and six altitude levels. The photochemical models show a good agreement with the observations for altitudes higher than 50 km. Seasonal ozone variations mainly appear as an annual cycle in the middle and upper stratosphere and a semi-annual cycle in the mesosphere with amplitude and phase depending on altitude. Higher resolution (2 km) HALOE (halogen occultation experiment) ozone observations show a phase reversal of the SAO between 44 and 64 km. In HALOE data, a tendancy for an opposite water vapour cycle can be identified in the altitude range 40–60 km. Generally, the relative variations at all altitudes are well explained by the transport model (up to 54 km) and the photochemical models. Only a newly developed photochemical model (1-D) with improved time-dependent treatment of water vapour profiles and solar flux manages to reproduce fairly well the absolute values.

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