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Observed and modelled record ozone decline over the Arctic during winter/spring 2011

D. Balis, Ivar S A Isaksen, C.S. Zerefos, I. Zyrichidou, K. Eleftheratos, K. Tourpali, R. Bojkov, Bjørg Rognerud, Frode Stordal, Amund Søvde Haslerud, Yvan Orsolini

This work describes observational and modelling results of the ozone depletion which took place during the winter/spring of 2011 in the Arctic stratosphere. Assimilated total ozone data from GOME-2 were used to estimate the integrated ozone mass deficit at polar latitudes and the Oslo CTM2 model calculated low winter/spring ozone values over the Arctic, which compare well with the satellite observations. Model runs with and without chemistry in the Arctic during the winter/spring of 2011 show that the very low Arctic stratospheric air temperatures led to significant chemical ozone loss. The calculated winter/spring ozone mass deficit (O3MD) reached extreme high values in 2011 (2700 Mt) and the seasonal zonal mean total ozone extreme low values of 333DU. Dynamics have set up the conditions for cold temperatures in the lower stratosphere in winter/spring of 2011. Comparison of ozone columns with the previous 13 years shows record low ozone column values during winter/spring in the Arctic in 2011. A comparison is also given with similar model studies for the overall warmer winter/spring of 2010 which show higher ozone column values and significantly less chemical ozone loss. The interannual variability of column ozone over the northern polar region is, as expected, highly correlated with the corresponding year-to-year variability of the seasonally-averaged temperatures in the lower stratosphere.

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