The abundance of gas phase nitric acid in the upper troposphere is overestimated by global chemistry-transport models, especially during the spring and summer seasons. Recent aircraft data obtained over the central US show that mineral aerosols were abundant in the upper troposphere during spring. Chemical reactions on mineral dust may provide an important sink for nitric acid. In regions where the mineral dust abundance is low in the upper troposphere similar HNO3 removal processes may occur on biomass burning aerosols. We propose that mineral and biomass burning aerosols may provide an important global sink for gas phase nitric acid, particularly during spring and summer when aerosol composition in the upper troposphere may be greatly affected by dust storms from east Asia or tropical biomass burning plumes.
Earth Sciences, Earth Systems Research Center
Geophysical Research Letters
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
A. Tabazadeh et al., "Nitric acid scavenging by mineral and biomass burning aerosols," Geophysical Research Letters, vol. 25, no. 22, pp. 4185–4188, Nov. 1998.
Copyright 1998 by the American Geophysical Union.