We present the first microphysical calculations confirming that photolysis of sulfuric acid vapor by visible light is responsible for the formation of the springtime ''CN layer'' observed in the polar stratosphere. Our calculations show that the recently proposed photolysis mechanism is also sufficient to explain observations of vertically increasing SO 2 mixing ratios in the upper stratosphere. Such photolysis, however, does not sufficiently explain the limited observations above 40 km of vertically decr…
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