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Author Topic: An Arctic Ozone Hole?  (Read 3858 times)

Jim Hunt

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An Arctic Ozone Hole?
« on: March 17, 2013, 03:55:17 PM »
I was over at Climate Central discussing cracking sea ice, when Debi asked about a possible "Arctic Ozone Hole".  I'm getting bored with the lack of clickable links over there, so to reiterate:

In October 2011 Richard Black of the Great British Broadcasting Corporation reported on some research by Gloria Manney et. al. that:

Quote
Ozone loss over the Arctic this year was so severe that for the first time it could be called an "ozone hole" like the Antarctic one.

Dave turned up the ozone section of the Environment Canada web site, which courtesy of a very unwieldy URL reveals that there were indeed some anomalously low O3 readings over the Arctic in spring 2011. Here's an image from two years ago today, by way of example:



Phil quoted the NASA web site on the unfortunate side effects of Ultraviolet-B Radiation on the Biosphere

Quote
In the Antarctic, increased exposure to UV-B radiation due to the appearance of the ozone hole commonly results in at least a 6-12 percent reduction in photosynthesis by phytoplankton in surface waters.

Replacing 2011 with 2013 in the unwieldy URL above reveals no similar anomalies this year. Should we nonetheless be worrying about similar things happening in the Arctic in the not too distant future?


Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one - Albert Einstein

crandles

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Re: An Arctic Ozone Hole?
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2013, 06:01:20 PM »
AIUI, ozone depleting chemicals are on the decline:

http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/odgi/

But a really cold stratosphere can cause more ozone depletion.

If we are getting SSW events this year and also rossby waves with high amplitude then the stratosphere is unlikely to be cold enough this year.

In future we could have a combination of no SSW events and a zonal pattern giving low amplitude Rossby waves and strong polar cyclonic winds rather than dipole patterns. In such circumstances there does seem to be a trend towards lower stratospheric temperatures probably caused by GHGs.

This might cause an occasional bigger ozone hole despite lower levels of ozone depleting chemicals.

With conclusions seeming to be that the Montreal protocol is a success, I assume Antarctic stratosphere will warm and that will significantly reduce the problem as the ozone depleting substances decline. (Assuming we continue reducing levels of ozone depleting substances.)

Presumably reduction in ozone depleting substances will also outweigh any Arctic stratospheric temperature fall?

http://www.sciencepoles.org/articles/article_detail/bjoern_martin_sinnhuber_explaining_arctic_ozone_depletion

Artful Dodger

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Re: An Arctic Ozone Hole?
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2013, 04:19:22 AM »
Dave turned up the ozone section of the Environment Canada web site, which courtesy of a very unwieldy URL reveals that there were indeed some anomalously low O3 readings over the Arctic in spring 2011...

Replacing 2011 with 2013 in the unwieldy URL above reveals no similar anomalies this year. Should we nonetheless be worrying about similar things happening in the Arctic in the not too distant future?

Hi Jim,

Don't be too quick to trust ozone reporting from Environment Canada. The program has been cut by the current Government.

I'm not saying there IS a Arctic ozone hole right now, I'm saying that it's not certain that EnvCda could find one if there was, or would be allowed to report it.

Let's find another data source. ESA, NOAA perhaps? What assets are in orbit currently to observe the ozone layer?
Cheers!
Lodger