Jump to main content
Jump to site search
SCHEDULED MAINTENANCE Close the message box

Maintenance work is planned for Monday 16 August 2021 from 07:00 to 23:59 (BST).

Website performance may be temporarily affected and you may not be able to access some PDFs or images. If this does happen, refreshing your web browser should resolve the issue. We apologise for any inconvenience this might cause and thank you for your patience.


Issue 16, 2018

Coupling free radical catalysis, climate change, and human health

Author affiliations

Abstract

We present the chain of mechanisms linking free radical catalytic loss of stratospheric ozone, specifically over the central United States in summer, to increased climate forcing by CO2 and CH4 from fossil fuel use. This case directly engages detailed knowledge, emerging from in situ aircraft observations over the polar regions in winter, defining the temperature and water vapor dependence of the kinetics of heterogeneous catalytic conversion of inorganic chlorine (HCl and ClONO2) to free radical form (ClO). Analysis is placed in the context of irreversible changes to specific subsystems of the climate, most notably coupled feedbacks that link rapid changes in the Arctic with the discovery that convective storms over the central US in summer both suppress temperatures and inject water vapor deep into the stratosphere. This places the lower stratosphere over the US in summer within the same photochemical catalytic domain as the lower stratosphere of the Arctic in winter engaging the risk of amplifying the rate limiting step in the ClO dimer catalytic mechanism by some six orders of magnitude. This transitions the catalytic loss rate of ozone in lower stratosphere over the United States in summer from HOx radical control to ClOx radical control, increasing the overall ozone loss rate by some two orders of magnitude over that of the unperturbed state. Thus we address, through a combination of observations and modeling, the mechanistic foundation defining why stratospheric ozone, vulnerable to increased climate forcing, is one of the most delicate aspects of habitability on the planet.

Graphical abstract: Coupling free radical catalysis, climate change, and human health

Article information


Submitted
12 Dec 2017
Accepted
13 Mar 2018
First published
11 Apr 2018

This article is Open Access

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018,20, 10569-10587
Article type
Perspective

Coupling free radical catalysis, climate change, and human health

J. G. Anderson and C. E. Clapp, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2018, 20, 10569 DOI: 10.1039/C7CP08331A

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

Read more about how to correctly acknowledge RSC content.


Social activity

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements