Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published June 28, 2003 | Published
Journal Article Open

A Born-Oppenheimer photolysis model of N_2O fractionation


The isotopically light N_2O produced by microbial activity is thought to be balanced by the return of heavy stratospheric nitrous oxide. The Yung and Miller [1997] method that first explained these trends yields photolytic fractionation factors ∼half those observed by experiment or predicted quantum mechanically, however. To address these issues, we present here a Born-Oppenheimer photolysis model that uses only commonly available spectroscopic data. The predicted fractionations quantitatively reproduce laboratory data, and have been incorporated into zonally averaged atmospheric simulations. Like McLinden et al. [2003] , who employ a three-dimensional chemical transport model with cross sections scaled to match laboratory data, we find excellent agreement between predictions and stratospheric measurements; additional processes that contribute to the mass independent anomaly in N_2O can only account for a fraction of its global budget.

Additional Information

© 2003 American Geophysical Union. Received 15 January 2003; revised 21 March 2003; accepted 9 April 2003; published 28 June 2003. This work was supported by the Atmospheric Chemistry program of the NSF (ATM99-03790; YLY, PI). Additional NASA support to GAB is gratefully acknowledged.

Attached Files

Published - 2003GL016932.pdf


Files (307.1 kB)
Name Size Download all
307.1 kB Preview Download

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 19, 2023