Stable Water Isotopologues in the stratosphere retrieved from Odin/SMR measurements
Journal article, 2018

Stable Water Isotopologues (SWIs) are important diagnostic tracers for understanding processes in the atmosphere and the global hydrological cycle. Using eight years (2002-2009) of retrievals from Odin/SMR (Sub-Millimetre Radiometer), the global climatological features of three SWIs, H 2 16 O, HDO and H 2 18 O, the isotopic composition δD and δ 18 O in the stratosphere are analysed for the first time. Spatially, SWIs are found to increase with altitude due to stratospheric methane oxidation. In the tropics, highly depleted SWIs in the lower stratosphere indicate the effect of dehydration when the air comes through the cold tropopause, while, at higher latitudes, more enriched SWIs in the upper stratosphere during summer are produced and transported to the other hemisphere via the Brewer-Dobson circulation. Furthermore, we found that more H 2 16 O is produced over summer Northern Hemisphere and more HDO is produced over summer Southern Hemisphere. Temporally, a tape recorder in H 2 16 O is observed in the lower tropical stratosphere, in addition to a pronounced downward propagating seasonal signal in SWIs from the upper to the lower stratosphere over the polar regions. These observed features in SWIs are further compared to SWI-enabled model outputs. This helped to identify possible causes of model deficiencies in reproducing main stratospheric features. For instance, choosing a better advection scheme and including methane oxidation process in a specific model immediately capture the main features of stratospheric water vapor. The representation of other features, such as the observed inter-hemispheric difference of isotopic component, is also discussed.


Stable water isotopologues

Odin/SMR satellite data



Tongmei Wang

Stockholm University

Qiong Zhang

Stockholm University

Stefan Lossow

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

Léon Chafik

University of Bergen

Camille Risi

Centre national de la recherche scientifique (CNRS)

Donal Murtagh

Chalmers, Space, Earth and Environment, Microwave and Optical Remote Sensing

Abdel Hannachi

Stockholm University

Remote Sensing

2072-4292 (ISSN)

Vol. 10 2 166

Subject Categories

Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences

Physical Geography

Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources



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9/7/2018 1