Is Antarctic climate most sensitive to ozone depletion in the middle or lower stratosphere?

S. P. E. Keeley, N. P. Gillett, D. W. J. Thompson, S. Solomon, P. M. Forster

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Antarctic stratospheric ozone depletion has been associated with an observed downward trend in tropospheric geopotential height and temperature. Stratospheric ozone depletion peaks in October–November, whereas tropospheric trends are largest in December–January, concurrent with maximum ozone changes close to the tropopause. Surface temperatures are most sensitive to ozone loss near the tropopause, therefore it has been suggested that the observed tropospheric response is forced mainly by ozone depletion in the lower stratosphere. In this study the climate response to ozone depletion exclusively below 164 hPa is simulated using HadSM3-L64, and compared with simulations in which ozone depletion is prescribed exclusively above 164 hPa. Results indicate that the tropospheric response is dominated by ozone changes above 164 hPa, with ozone changes in the lowermost stratosphere playing an insignificant role. A tropospheric response is also seen in fall/winter which agrees well with observations and has not been found in modeling studies previously.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGeophysical Research Letters
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2007

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