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Stratospheric composition changes caused by energetic particle precipitation: What have we learned from MIPAS?

B Funke(1), Manuel López-Puertas(1), Maya García-Comas(1), Diego Bermejo-Pantaleón(1), Michael Höpfner(2), Gabriele Stiller(2) and Thomas von Clarmann(2)

(1) Instituto de Astrofísica de Andalucía (CSIC), C Bajo de Huétor 50, 18008 Granada, Spain
(2) Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung, Postfach 3640, 76021 Karlsruhe, Germany

Abstract

Energetic particle precipitation (EPP) is known to cause increases of odd nitrogen in the middle atmosphere, leading to accelerated catalytic ozone destruction. Due to its pronounced solar cycle variations, EPP-generated NOx could have important implications on the longterm evolution of stratospheric ozone and hence, is of importance for the evaluation of ozone recovery. While production mechanisms of EPP-NOx and dynamical processes affecting its downward transport are qualitatively well understood, uncertainties remain, however, with respect to the quantitative assessment of these processes. MIPAS observes vertical profiles of NOx, together with other NOy species and dynamical tracers such as CO and CH4 with global coverage and independent on solar illumination. This makes it an ideal instrument for studying EPP effects on stratospheric chemistry. During the last years, this dataset has been extensively exploited to quantitatively assess EPP-induced NOx deposition into the stratosphere and to analyze dynamical processes responsible for its inter-annual variation. In this paper, scientific key results obtained from MIPAS data, as well as planned future activities, will be summarized.