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Featured Science Paper

Vertical structure of Antarctic tropospheric ozone depletion events: characteristics and broader implications

Ozone depletion events in both polar lower tropospheres are fascinating events. Ozone goes to almost zero near the surface in some of them, with knock-on effects on many other chemicals including mercury deposition, and with a cause apparently associated with enhancements of bromine compounds. The question is: however interesting they are, do they have a wider scale importance?

This paper starts to address the question. It develops the idea that there are different kinds of event by studying vertical profiles using both recent tethersonde data and by reusing ‘ancient’ (1987) data that were previously used to study stratospheric ozone depletion, but from which the lower altitude data were not previously studied. The near surface events/data show a fascinating link to the shallow layers seen in boundary layer met data, and indicate the advantage that BAS has by having experts in many fields able to work together. However the events that extend to greater than 1km altitude are particularly exciting; they seem, counter to much previous work, to be associated with strong winds and large scale low pressure systems, and to be capable of influencing a very large area and considerable depth in the atmosphere. It is these events that may be of genuine chemical and climatic significance, and by marshalling expertise from two programmes and an outside remote sensing expert, we are able to point out which kinds of event need to be targeted.

Find link to the full paper in the NERC Open Research Archive


Jones, A.E., Anderson, P.S., Wolff, E.W., Roscoe, H.K., Marshall, G.J., Richter, A., Brough, N. and Colwell, S.R., 2010


Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 10, 7775-7794. doi:10.5194/acp-10-7775-2010