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Evidence for a Continuous Decline in Lower Stratospheric Ozone Offsetting Ozone Layer RecoveryOzone forms in the Earth's atmosphere from the photodissociation of molecular oxygen, primarily in the tropical stratosphere. It is then transported to the extratropics by the Brewer-Dobson circulation (BDC), forming a protective "ozone layer" around the globe. Human emissions of halogen-containing ozone-depleting substances (hODSs) led to a decline in stratospheric ozone until they were banned by the Montreal Protocol, and since 1998 ozone in the upper stratosphere is rising again, likely the recovery from halogen-induced losses. Total column measurements of ozone between the Earth's surface and the top of the atmosphere indicate that the ozone layer has stopped declining across the globe, but no clear increase has been observed at latitudes between 60degS and 60degN outside the polar regions (60-90deg). Here we report evidence from multiple satellite measurements that ozone in the lower stratosphere between 60degS and 60degN has indeed continued to decline since 1998. We find that, even though upper stratospheric ozone is recovering, the continuing downward trend in the lower stratosphere prevails, resulting in a downward trend in stratospheric column ozone between 60degS and 60degN. We find that total column ozone between 60degS and 60degN appears not to have decreased only because of increases in tropospheric column ozone that compensate for the stratospheric decreases. The reasons for the continued reduction of lower stratospheric ozone are not clear; models do not reproduce these trends, and thus the causes now urgently need to be established.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Ball, William T.
(Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos, Switzerland)
Alsing, Justin
(Center for Computational Astrophysics New York, NY, United States)
Mortlock, Daniel J.
(Imperial Coll. of London London, United Kingdom)
Staehelin, Johannes
(Swiss Federal Inst. of Technology Zurich, Switzerland)
Haigh, Joanna D.
(Imperial Coll. of London London, United Kingdom)
Peter, Thomas
(Swiss Federal Inst. of Technology Zurich, Switzerland)
Tummon, Fiona
(Swiss Federal Inst. of Technology Zurich, Switzerland)
Stuebi, Rene
(Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology MeteoSwiss Zurich, Switzerland)
Stenke, Andrea
(Swiss Federal Inst. of Technology Zurich, Switzerland)
Anderson, John
(Hampton Univ. VA, United States)
Bourassa, Adam
(Saskatchewan Univ. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)
Davis, Sean M.
(Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Degenstein, Doug
(Saskatchewan Univ. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)
Frith, Stacey
(Science Systems and Applications, Inc. Lanham, MD, United States)
Froidevaux, Lucien
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Roth, Chris
(Saskatchewan Univ. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada)
Sofieva, Viktoria
(Finnish Meteorological Inst. Helsinki, Finland)
Wang, Ray
(Georgia Inst. of Technology Atlanta, GA, United States)
Wild, Jeanette
(INNOVIM Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Yu, Pengfei
(Colorado Univ. Boulder, CO, United States)
Ziemke, Jerald R.
(Morgan State Univ. Baltimore, MD, United States)
Rozanov, Eugene V.
(Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos, Switzerland)
Date Acquired
May 16, 2018
Publication Date
February 6, 2018
Publication Information
Publication: Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics
Publisher: Copernicus Publications
Volume: 18
Issue: 2
e-ISSN: 1680-7324
Subject Category
Geosciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Stratospheric Ozone
Ozone Recovery
Tropospheric Ozone
Ozone Trends

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