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Authors: Di Biagio, C.* 
Muscari, G.* 
di Sarra, A.* 
de Zafra, R. L.* 
Eriksen, P.* 
Fiocco, G.* 
Fiorucci, I.* 
Fuà, D.* 
Title: Evolution of temperature, O3, CO, and N2O profiles during the exceptional 2009 Arctic major stratospheric warming as observed by lidar and mm-wave spectroscopy at Thule (76.5°N, 68.8°W), Greenland.
Issue Date: 2010
Series/Report no.: /115 (2010)
DOI: 10.1029/2010JD014070
Keywords: sudden stratospheric warming
winter polar stratosphere
Subject Classification01. Atmosphere::01.01. Atmosphere::01.01.01. Composition and Structure 
01. Atmosphere::01.01. Atmosphere::01.01.04. Processes and Dynamics 
Abstract: The 2009 Arctic sudden stratospheric warming (SSW) was the most intense event of this kind ever observed. Unique ground-based measurements of middle atmospheric profiles for temperature, O3, CO, and N2O obtained at Thule (76.5°N, 68.8°W), Greenland, in the period January – early March are used to show the evolution of the 2009 SSW in the region of its maximum intensity. The first sign of the SSW was detected at θ~2000 K on January 19, when a rapid decrease in CO mixing ratio took place. The first evidence of a temperature increase was observed at the same level on 22 January, the earliest date on which lidar measurements reached above ~50 km. The warming propagated from the upper to the lower stratosphere in 7 days and the record maximum temperature of 289 K was observed between 1300 and 1500 K potential temperature on 22 January. A strong vortex splitting was associated with the SSW. Stratospheric backward trajectories indicate that airmasses arriving to Thule during the warming peak underwent a rapid compression and an intense adiabatic warming of up to 50 K. The rapid advection of air from the extra-tropics was also occasionally observed to produce elevated values of N2O mixing ratio. Starting from mid-February the temperature profile and the N2O mixing ratio returned to the pre-warming values in the mid and upper stratosphere, indicating the reformation of the vortex at these levels. In late winter, vertical descent from starting altitudes of ~60 km is estimated from CO profiles to be 0.25±0.05 km/day.
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