Favoured by severe weather conditions during the rainy season and the large-scale circulation of air masses in the western Pacific, short-lived natural chlorinated and brominated compounds compounds may be able to reach the stratosphere, and thus have an impact on the ozone layer. Particularly strong sources of these compounds are thought to exist in the tropical western Pacific. But the role of these natural halogen compounds in ozone depletion is largely unexplored. Answers are expected from the European-Malaysian project SHIVA (Stratospheric ozone: Halogen Impacts in a Varying Atmosphere) in which the DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics participates.
The Falcon set off for Malaysia on 9 November 2011 and will be on site for four weeks. Missions are planned, from Miri (Borneo) along the coastal regions of Malaysia, over the South China Sea, and over the southern Philippines. In addition small boats belonging to the Malaysian partners will be deployed to identify the main source regions of the ozone depleting substances. The German research vessel 'Sonne' will be taking measurements in the surface water and the air. The DLR Institute of Atmospheric Physics is also participating in these measurements. At the same time, satellite data – for example, from the Envisat environmental satellite – will be used to capture the large-scale meteorological processes, the biological activity in the waters being studied and the distribution of ozone. The results of the campaign will be analysed with the help of numerical models, with the aim of predicting the future development of the ozone layer.
SHIVA is funded by the European Union and various national funding agencies in Europe and Malaysia. DLR is a partner in a European-Malaysian consortium consisting of 130 scientists from 17 institutions. The University of Heidelberg's Institute of Environmental Physics is coordinating the project.
Contact: Dr. Hans Schlager
German Aerospace Center
Institute of Atmospheric Physics
Tel.: +49 8153 282510
Fax: +49 8153 281841