The POLARIS mission was conducted over the course of the 1997 summer. The flights covered the polar lower stratosphere at latitudes from the equator to the North Pole. The 35 ER-2 aircraft, two OMS balloon flights, and two ADEOS correlative balloon flights provide an unprecedented glimpse of polar summer chemistry, dynamics, and radiation. The natural decrease of ozone over the course of the summer has been well documented by ground and satellite observations. The chemistry and dynamics of the summer period have only been partially understood from a theoretical basis and limited satellite observations. The new POLARIS observations have firmly grounded our historic ozone observations and model predictions with a large body of new observations. These papers address key issues concerning the photochemistry and transport in the stratosphere and provide important new details on the causes underlying changes in summer ozone amounts. A highlight of the photochemical investigations is the detailed comparison of radical and reservoir measurements with models. These results initially revealed important discrepancies and agreements in our understanding of stratospheric chemistry. These observations encouraged new laboratory measurements, which have led to revised reaction rate recommendations that significantly improve model agreement with observations. These improvements provide greater confidence in our predictions of future stratospheric change. POLARIS and other NASA-sponsored missions are described at the NASA Ames Earth Science Division Project Office web site (http://cloudl.arc.nasa.gov/). The POLARIS data set and data sets from all the missions prior to POLARIS are available on CD-ROM by request from the NASA Ames Earth Science Division Project Office.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Atmospheric Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Space and Planetary Science