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Published February 1980 | Published
Journal Article Open

Atmospheric Bromine and Ozone Perturbations in the Lower Stratosphere


The role of bromine compounds in the photochemistry of the natural and perturbed stratosphere has been reexamined using an expanded reaction scheme and the results of recent laboratory studies of several key reactions. The most important finding is that through the reaction BrO + CIO → Br + Cl + O2, there is a synergistic effect between bromine and chlorine which results in an efficient catalytic destruction of ozone in the lower stratosphere. One-dimensional photochemical model results indicate that BrO is the major bromine species throughout the stratosphere, followed by BrONO2, HBr, HOBr and Br. We show from the foregoing that bromine is more efficient than chlorine as a catalyst for destroying ozone, and discuss the implications for stratospheric ozone of possible future growth in the industrial and agricultural use of bromine. Bromine concentrations of 20 pptv (2 × 10^−11), as suggested by recent observations, can decrease the present-day integrated ozone column density by 2.4%, and can enhance ozone depletion from steady-state chlorofluoromethane release at 1973 rates by a factor of 1.1–1.2.

Additional Information

© 1980 American Meteorological Society. (Manuscript received May 4, 1979, in final form September 26, 1979) We thank A.L. Lazrus and W.A. Sedlacek for permission to use their data prior to publication. We benefited from discussions with W.B. DeMore, H.B. Singh, J.S. Chang, S.C. Liu, N.D. Sze, J.A. Logan, S.C. Wofsy, M.T. Molina and F.S. Rowland. We appreciate the constructive criticisms given by the referees, P.J. Crutzen and R.J. Cicerone in their reviews of this paper. This research was supported by NASA Grant NSG 2229 to the California Institute of Technology and NASA Grant NSG 5163 Scope M to Columbia University; this also represents one phase of NASA sponsored research carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory under Contract NAS 7-100. Contribution No. 3215 of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology.

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October 17, 2023