The emissions of most long-lived halogenated ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) are now decreasing, owing to controls on their production introduced by Montreal Protocol and its amendments. However, short-lived halogenated compounds can also have substantial impact on atmospheric chemistry, including stratospheric ozone, particularly if emitted near climatological uplift regions. It has recently become evident that emissions of some chlorinated very short-lived species (VSLSs), such as chloroform (CHCl3) and dichloromethane (CH2Cl2), could be larger than previously believed and increasing, particularly in Asia. While these may exert a significant influence on atmospheric chemistry and climate, their impacts remain poorly characterised.
We address this issue using the UM-UKCA chemistry-climate model (CCM). While not only the first, to our knowledge, model study addressing this problem using a CCM, it is also the first such study employing a whole atmosphere model, thereby simulating the tropospheric Cl-VSLSs emissions and the resulting stratospheric impacts in a fully consistent manner. We use a newly developed Double-Extended Stratospheric-Tropospheric (DEST) chemistry scheme, which includes emissions of all major chlorinated and brominated VSLSs alongside an extended treatment of long-lived ODSs.
We examine the impacts of rising Cl-VSLSs emissions on atmospheric chlorine tracers and ozone, including their long-term trends. We pay particular attention to the role of ‘nudging’, as opposed to the free-running model set up, for the simulated Cl-VSLSs impacts, thereby demostrating the role of atmospheric dynamics in modulating the atmospheric responses to Cl-VSLSs. In addition, we employ novel estimates of Cl-VSLS emissions over the recent past and compare the results with the simulations that prescribe Cl-VSLSs using simple lower boundary conditions. This allows us to demonstrate the impact such choice has on the dominant location and seasonality of the Cl-VSLSs transport into the stratosphere.