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The Arctic 'ozone hole' in spring 2020

In the winter and spring of 2019/2020, the unusually cold, strong, and stable polar vortex created ideal conditions for ozone depletion in the Arctic. Chemical ozone loss started earlier than in any previous year in the satellite era, and continued until the end of March, resulting in the unprecedented reduction of the ozone column. Ozone loss was even more severe than in 2011, the previous year with record ozone loss. The vortex was located over the PEARL Ridge Lab (in Eureka, Nunavut) for over two months, and I will use a suite of instruments at Eureka to show how ozone and related trace gases evolved in spring 2020. While dynamics usually plays a dominant role in determining ozone concentrations in the Arctic, chemistry was clearly the main factor this spring. Comparisons to modeled ozone indicate that 27-31% of the ozone column was lost to chemical processing by April 2020. Ozonesondes show that in the lower stratosphere, ozone was almost completely depleted, with minima (<0.2 ppmv) that were similar to typical values in the Antarctic ozone hole.

Event series  Brewer-Wilson Seminar Series