OH column abundance over Table Mountain Facility, California: Intra-annual variations and comparisons to model predictions for 1997–2001
Measurements of the OH column abundance over the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Table Mountain Facility (TMF) have been made since July 1997 at 10°–80° solar zenith angle using a Fourier transform ultraviolet spectrometer. The measured OH column at any solar zenith angle is typically larger in the afternoon than in the morning. The variations observed in the OH column abundance appear to result from changes in atmospheric conditions on a daily or longer timescale. The larger observed variations are statistically significant. Sensitivity coefficients describing how the OH column abundance is expected to change in response to changes in the concentrations of H_2O, O_3, NO, CO, and CH_4 have been calculated on the basis of an analytic model. On the basis of these sensitivity coefficients and Halogen Occultation Experiment observations of O_3, the net sensitivity of the OH column abundance to variations in O_3 should be close to zero. The observed OH column abundance over TMF increased by about 25% from July 1997 to December 2001. This interannual trend in OH column abundance is not consistent with calculations that incorporate observed trends in H_2O and O_3 and is at least a factor of 2 larger than the calculated difference between solar minimum and maximum. Comparisons between measured and calculated normalized OH column abundances suggest that the sensitivity of OH to variations in H_2O may be a factor of 2 larger than predicted in present models and that there is some other major driver for the observed variability in the OH column abundance that was not included in the present analysis.
Additional Information© 2003 The American Geophysical Union. Received 4 February 2003; Revised 14 July 2003; Accepted 11 August 2003; Published 24 December 2003. The research described in this paper was performed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology. Support received from the NASA Upper Atmosphere Research Program, the California Institute of Technology President's Fund, the Naval Research Laboratory, and NASA grants NAG1-1806 and NAG1-2151 to the California Institute of Technology is gratefully acknowledged. The authors thank Vassilli Nemtchinov and Yibo Jiang for their contributions to the collection and processing of the OH column measurements, Timothy Canty for his assistance in comparing the TMF and FPO measurements, and Fok-Yan Leung for assistance with the final versions of figures. Helpful suggestions from an anonymous reviewer are gratefully acknowledged. The HALOE data were obtained via http://haloedata.larc.nasa.gov.
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