The role and performance of ground-based networks in tracking the evolution of the ozone layer
Earth and related Environmental sciences
Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW)
Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC)
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In the 1980s, ground-based monitoring of the ozone layer played a key role in the discovery of the Antarctic Ozone Hole as well as in the first documentation of significant winter and spring long-term downward trends in the populated mid-latitude regions. The article summarizes the close-to-hundred-year-long history of ground-based measurements of stratospheric ozone, and more recent observations of constituents that influence its equilibrium. Ozone observations began long before the recognition of the impact of increasing emissions of manmade ozone-depleting substances on ozone and therefore on UV levels, human health, ecosystems and the Earth climate. The historical ozone observations prior to 1980s are used as a reference for the assessments of the state of the ozone layer linked to the enforcement of the Montreal Protocol. In this paper, we describe the worldwide monitoring networks and their ozone observations used to determine long-term trends with an accuracy of a few percent per decade. Since 1989, the ground-based monitoring activities have provided support for the amendments of the Montreal Protocol (MP). They include monitoring of (a) the ozone total column and the vertical distribution at global scale, (b) the ozone-depleting substances (ODS) related to the MP such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), and their decomposition products in the stratosphere, and (c) the atmospheric species playing a role in ozone depletion, e.g., nitrogen oxides, water vapor, aerosols, polar stratospheric clouds. We highlight important accomplishments in the atmospheric monitoring performed by the Global Atmosphere Watch program (GAW) run under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and by the Network for the Detection of Atmospheric Composition Change (NDACC). We also address the complementary roles of ground-based networks and satellite instruments. High-quality ground-based measurements have been used to evaluate ozone variabilities and long-term trends, assess chemistry climate models, and check the long-term stability of satellite data, including more recently the merged satellite time-series developed for the detection of ozone recovery at global scale, which might be further modified by climate change.
CitationStaehelin, J.; Petropavlovskikh, I.; De Mazière, M.; Godin-Beekmann, S. (2018). The role and performance of ground-based networks in tracking the evolution of the ozone layer. , Comptes Rendus Geoscience, Vol. 350, Issue 7, 354-367, DOI: 10.1016/j.crte.2018.08.007.