Severe 2011 Ozone Depletion Assessed with 11 Years of Ozone, NO₂ and OClO Measurements at 80ºn

Published In: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 39, 2012, p. 1-4

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2012

by Cristen Adams, Kimberly Strong, Xiaoyi Zhao, Matt Bassford, Martyn P. Chipperfield, William H. Daffer, James R. Drummond, Elham E. Farahani, Wuhu Feng, Annemarie Fraser, et al.

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Unusually cold conditions in Arctic winter 2010/11 led to large stratospheric ozone loss. We investigate this with UV-visible measurements made at Eureka, Canada (80.05°N, 86.42°W) from 1999–2011. For 8–22 March 2011, OClO was enhanced, indicating chlorine activation above Eureka. Ozone columns were lower than in any other year in the record, reaching minima of 237 DU and 247 DU in two datasets. The average NO2 column inside the vortex, measured at visible and UV wavelengths, was 46 ± 30% and 45 ± 27% lower in 2011 than the average NO2 column from previous years. Ozone column loss was estimated from two ozone datasets, using a modeled passive ozone tracer. For 12–20 March 2011, the average ozone loss was 27% and 29% (99 DU and 108 DU). The largest percent ozone loss in the 11-year record of 47% (250 DU and 251 DU) was observed on 5 April 2011.

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