Observations of iodine monoxide columns from satellite
Iodine species in the troposphere are linked to ozone depletion and new particle formation. In this study, a full year of iodine monoxide (IO) columns retrieved from measurements of the SCIAMACHY satellite instrument is presented, coupled with a discussion of their uncertainties and the detection limits. The largest amounts of IO are found near springtime in the Antarctic. A seasonal variation of iodine monoxide in Antarctica is revealed with high values in springtime, slightly less IO in the summer period and again larger amounts in autumn. In winter, no elevated IO levels are found in the areas accessible to satellite measurements. This seasonal cycle is in good agreement with recent ground-based measurements in Antarctica. In the Arctic region, no elevated IO levels were found in the period analysed. This implies that different conditions with respect to iodine release exist in the two Polar Regions. To investigate possible release mechanisms, comparisons of IO columns with those of tropospheric BrO, and ice coverage are described and discussed. Some parallels and interesting differences between IO and BrO temporal and spatial distributions are identified. Overall, the large spatial coverage of satellite retrieved IO data and the availability of a long-term dataset provide new insight about the abundances and distributions of iodine compounds in the troposphere.
Authors: Schönhardt, A., Richter, A., Wittrock, F., Kirk, H., Oetjen, H., Roscoe, Howard K., Burrows, J.P.