Exceptionally low Arctic stratospheric ozone in spring 2020 as seen in the CAMS reanalysis
Earth and related Environmental sciences
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A reanalysis data set produced by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring service (CAMS reanalysis, 2003 to present day) augmented by ERA5 data for the years before 2003 is used to describe the evolution of the 2020 Arctic ozone season and to compare it with years back to 1979. Ozone columns over large parts of the Arctic reached record low values in March and April 2020 because of an exceptionally strong, cold, and persistent Arctic polar vortex. Minimum ozone columns were below 250 DU for most of March and the first half of April, with the lowest values of 211 DU in the CAMS reanalysis found on 18 March. Such low values are extremely unusual for the Arctic. The previous years with similarly strong Arctic ozone depletion were 2011 and 1997 with minimum values of 232 and 217 DU, respectively. The performance of the CAMS ozone analysis is assessed by comparison with ozonesonde data and found to agree well with the independent observations. We find a clear sign of chemical ozone destruction with ozone severely depleted in a layer between 80 and 50 hPa in late March and early April when partial pressure values below 2 mPa were observed. Profiles from the limb sounders Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment‐Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE‐FTS) and Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) show clear signs of chlorine activation and the presence of polar stratospheric clouds. Monthly mean ozone columns in March 2020 were up to 180 DU or 40% lower than the CAMS climatology (2003–2019) while values for 2011 and 1997 were lower by 31% and 35%, respectively.
CitationInness, A.; Chabrillat, S.; Flemming, J.; Huijnen, V.; Langenrock, B.; Nicolas, J.; Polichtchouk, I.; Razinger, M. (2020). Exceptionally low Arctic stratospheric ozone in spring 2020 as seen in the CAMS reanalysis. , Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Vol. 125, Issue 23, e2020JD033563, DOI: 10.1029/2020JD033563.