Satellite observations of temporary and irreversible denitrification Academic Article uri icon


  • We have investigated temporary and irreversible denitrification in the polar regions. We find that the formation of type I polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) in both hemispheres is best described by a supercooled ternary solution model. Considering the uncertainties in the analysis, our results are also consistent with a nitric acid dihydrate composition for type I PSCs, but not a nitric acid trihydrate composition. In the Northern Hemisphere, we observe that an upper limit of 17% of HNO3 is irreversibly lost each time the temperature of an air mass drops below -190 K. It seems likely that in order to remove a significant fraction of the HNO3 from an air mass in the Northern Hemisphere, one must expose it to low temperatures multiple times. Copyright 1999 by the American Geophysical Union.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Dessler, A. E., Wu, J., Santee, M. L., & Schoeberl, M. R.

citation count

  • 21

complete list of authors

  • Dessler, AE||Wu, J||Santee, ML||Schoeberl, MR

publication date

  • June 1999