skip to main content

Title: Quantitative detection of iodine in the stratosphere

Oceanic emissions of iodine destroy ozone, modify oxidative capacity, and can form new particles in the troposphere. However, the impact of iodine in the stratosphere is highly uncertain due to the lack of previous quantitative measurements. Here, we report quantitative measurements of iodine monoxide radicals and particulate iodine (Iy,part) from aircraft in the stratosphere. These measurements support that 0.77 ± 0.10 parts per trillion by volume (pptv) total inorganic iodine (Iy) is injected to the stratosphere. These high Iyamounts are indicative of active iodine recycling on ice in the upper troposphere (UT), support the upper end of recent Iyestimates (0 to 0.8 pptv) by the World Meteorological Organization, and are incompatible with zero stratospheric iodine injection. Gas-phase iodine (Iy,gas) in the UT (0.67 ± 0.09 pptv) converts to Iy,partsharply near the tropopause. In the stratosphere, IO radicals remain detectable (0.06 ± 0.03 pptv), indicating persistent Iy,partrecycling back to Iy,gasas a result of active multiphase chemistry. At the observed levels, iodine is responsible for 32% of the halogen-induced ozone loss (bromine 40%, chlorine 28%), due primarily to previously unconsidered heterogeneous chemistry. Anthropogenic (pollution) ozone has increased iodine emissions since preindustrial times (ca. factor of 3 since 1950) and could be partly more » responsible for the continued decrease of ozone in the lower stratosphere. Increasing iodine emissions have implications for ozone radiative forcing and possibly new particle formation near the tropopause.

« less
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
p. 1860-1866
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The catalytic depletion of Antarctic stratospheric ozone is linked to anthropogenic emissions of chlorine and bromine. Despite its larger ozone-depleting efficiency, the contribution of ocean-emitted iodine to ozone hole chemistry has not been evaluated, due to the negligible iodine levels previously reported to reach the stratosphere. Based on the recently observed range (0.77 ± 0.1 parts per trillion by volume [pptv]) of stratospheric iodine injection, we use the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model to assess the role of iodine in the formation and recent past evolution of the Antarctic ozone hole. Our 1980–2015 simulations indicate that iodine can significantly impact the lower part of the Antarctic ozone hole, contributing, on average, 10% of the lower stratospheric ozone loss during spring (up to 4.2% of the total stratospheric column). We find that the inclusion of iodine advances the beginning and delays the closure stages of the ozone hole by 3 d to 5 d, increasing its area and mass deficit by 11% and 20%, respectively. Despite being present in much smaller amounts, and due to faster gas-phase photochemical reactivation, iodine can dominate (∼73%) the halogen-mediated lower stratospheric ozone loss during summer and early fall, when the heterogeneous reactivation of inorganic chlorinemore »and bromine reservoirs is reduced. The stratospheric ozone destruction caused by 0.77 pptv of iodine over Antarctica is equivalent to that of 3.1 (4.6) pptv of biogenic very short-lived bromocarbons during spring (rest of sunlit period). The relative contribution of iodine to future stratospheric ozone loss is likely to increase as anthropogenic chlorine and bromine emissions decline following the Montreal Protocol.« less
  2. We present a simulation of the global present-day composition of the troposphere which includes the chemistry of halogens (Cl, Br, I). Building on previous work within the GEOS-Chem model we include emissions of inorganic iodine from the oceans, anthropogenic and biogenic sources of halogenated gases, gas phase chemistry, and a parameterised approach to heterogeneous halogen chemistry. Consistent with Schmidt et al. (2016) we do not include sea-salt debromination. Observations of halogen radicals (BrO, IO) are sparse but the model has some skill in reproducing these. Modelled IO shows both high and low biases when compared to different datasets, but BrO concentrations appear to be modelled low. Comparisons to the very sparse observations dataset of reactive Cl species suggest the model represents a lower limit of the impacts of these species, likely due to underestimates in emissions and therefore burdens. Inclusion of Cl, Br, and I results in a general improvement in simulation of ozone (O3) concentrations, except in polar regions where the model now underestimates O3 concentrations. Halogen chemistry reduces the global tropospheric O3 burden by 18.6 %, with the O3 lifetime reducing from 26 to 22 days. Global mean OH concentrations of 1.28  ×  106 molecules cm−3 are 8.2 % lower than in a simulationmore »without halogens, leading to an increase in the CH4 lifetime (10.8 %) due to OH oxidation from 7.47 to 8.28 years. Oxidation of CH4 by Cl is small (∼  2 %) but Cl oxidation of other VOCs (ethane, acetone, and propane) can be significant (∼  15–27 %). Oxidation of VOCs by Br is smaller, representing 3.9 % of the loss of acetaldehyde and 0.9 % of the loss of formaldehyde.« less
  3. Abstract Iodine is a reactive trace element in atmospheric chemistry that destroys ozone and nucleates particles. Iodine emissions have tripled since 1950 and are projected to keep increasing with rising O 3 surface concentrations. Although iodic acid (HIO 3 ) is widespread and forms particles more efficiently than sulfuric acid, its gas-phase formation mechanism remains unresolved. Here, in CLOUD atmospheric simulation chamber experiments that generate iodine radicals at atmospherically relevant rates, we show that iodooxy hypoiodite, IOIO, is efficiently converted into HIO 3 via reactions (R1) IOIO + O 3  → IOIO 4 and (R2) IOIO 4  + H 2 O → HIO 3  + HOI +  (1) O 2 . The laboratory-derived reaction rate coefficients are corroborated by theory and shown to explain field observations of daytime HIO 3 in the remote lower free troposphere. The mechanism provides a missing link between iodine sources and particle formation. Because particulate iodate is readily reduced, recycling iodine back into the gas phase, our results suggest a catalytic role of iodine in aerosol formation.
  4. Abstract. In this paper, we present a new version of the chemistry–climate model SOCOL-AERv2 supplemented by an iodine chemistry module. We perform three 20-year ensemble experiments to assess the validity of the modeled iodine and to quantify the effects of iodine on ozone. The iodine distributions obtained with SOCOL-AERv2-I agree well with AMAX-DOAS observations and with CAM-chem model simulations. For the present-day atmosphere, the model suggests that the iodine-induced chemistry leads to a 3 %–4 % reduction in the ozone column, which is greatest at high latitudes. The model indicates the strongest influence of iodine in the lower stratosphere with 30 ppbv less ozone at low latitudes and up to 100 ppbv less at high latitudes. In the troposphere, the account of the iodine chemistry reduces the tropospheric ozone concentration by 5 %–10 % depending on geographical location. In the lower troposphere, 75 % of the modeled ozone reduction originates from inorganic sources of iodine, 25 % from organic sources of iodine. At 50 hPa, the results show that the impacts of iodine from both sources are comparable. Finally, we determine the sensitivity of ozone to iodine by applying a 2-fold increase in iodine emissions, as it might be representative for iodine by the end of this century. Thismore »reduces the ozone column globally by an additional 1.5 %–2.5 %. Our results demonstrate the sensitivity of atmospheric ozone to iodine chemistry for present and future conditions, but uncertainties remain high due to the paucity of observational data of iodine species.« less
  5. Abstract. Sulfate geoengineering (SG) methods based on lower stratospheric tropical injection of sulfur dioxide (SO2) have been widely discussed in recent years, focusing on the direct and indirect effects they would have on the climate system. Here a potential alternative method is discussed, where sulfur emissions are located at the surface or in the troposphere in the form of carbonyl sulfide (COS) gas. There are two time-dependent chemistry–climate model experiments designed from the years 2021 to 2055, assuming a 40 Tg-Syr-1 artificial global flux of COS, which is geographically distributed following the present-day anthropogenic COS surface emissions (SG-COS-SRF) or a 6 Tg-Syr-1 injection of COS in the tropical upper troposphere (SG-COS-TTL). The budget of COS and sulfur species is discussed, as are the effects of both SG-COS strategies on the stratospheric sulfate aerosol optical depth (∼Δτ=0.080 in the years 2046–2055), aerosol effective radius (0.46 µm), surface SOx deposition (+8.9 % for SG-COS-SRF; +3.3 % for SG-COS-TTL), and tropopause radiative forcing (RF; ∼-1.5 W m−2 in all-sky conditions in both SG-COS experiments). Indirect effects on ozone, methane and stratospheric water vapour are also considered, along with the COS direct contribution. According to our model results, the resulting net RF is −1.3 W m−2, for SG-COS-SRF, and −1.5 W m−2, for SG-COS-TTL, andmore »it is comparable to the corresponding RF of −1.7 W m−2 obtained with a sustained injection of 4 Tg-Syr-1 in the tropical lower stratosphere in the form of SO2 (SG-SO2, which is able to produce a comparable increase of the sulfate aerosol optical depth). Significant changes in the stratospheric ozone response are found in both SG-COS experiments with respect to SG-SO2 (∼5 DU versus +1.4 DU globally). According to the model results, the resulting ultraviolet B (UVB) perturbation at the surface accounts for −4.3 % as a global and annual average (versus −2.4 % in the SG-SO2 case), with a springtime Antarctic decrease of −2.7 % (versus a +5.8 % increase in the SG-SO2 experiment). Overall, we find that an increase in COS emissions may be feasible and produce a more latitudinally uniform forcing without the need for the deployment of stratospheric aircraft. However, our assumption that the rate of COS uptake by soils and plants does not vary with increasing COS concentrations will need to be investigated in future work, and more studies are needed on the prolonged exposure effects to higher COS values in humans and ecosystems.« less