Comment on acp-2020-1228 [peer_review]

2021 unpublished
Recently, measurements by the Superconducting Submillimeter-Wave Limb Emission Sounder (SMILES) satellite instrument have been presented which indicate an increase of mesospheric HO 2 above sprite producing thunderstorms. These are the first direct observations of chemical sprite effects, and provide an opportunity to test our understanding of the chemical processes in sprites. In the present paper, results of numerical model simulations are presented. A plasma chemistry model in combination
more » ... l in combination with a vertical transport module was used to simulate the impact of a streamer discharge in the altitude range 5 70-80 km, corresponding to one of the observed sprite events. Additionally, a horizontal transport and dispersion model was used to simulate advection and expansion of the sprite volumes. The model simulations predict a production of hydrogen radicals mainly due to reactions of proton hydrates formed after the electrical discharge. The net effect is a conversion of water molecules into H + OH. This leads to increasing HO 2 concentrations a few hours after the electric breakdown. According to the model simulations, the HO 2 enhancements above sprite producing thunderstorms observed by the SMILES instrument can 10 not solely be attributed to the detected one sprite event for each thunderstorm. The main reason is that the estimated amount of HO 2 released by a sprite is much smaller than the observed increase. Furthermore, the advection and dispersion simulations of the observed sprites reveal that in most cases only little overlap of the expanded sprite volumes and the field of view of the SMILES measurements is expected.
doi:10.5194/acp-2020-1228-rc1 fatcat:u6awu57fnrcjbdya3r3ffbten4