• El Nino;
  • La Nina;
  • Troposphere;
  • Ozone;
  • TOMS;
  • BUV

[1] This study provides the first evidence from several decades of satellite measurements that both La Nina and El Nino events have a comparable and dramatic impact in altering the interannual variability and distribution of tropospheric ozone in the tropics. Measurements of tropospheric ozone were combined from several total ozone mapping spectrometer (TOMS) and backscatter ultraviolet (BUV) satellite instruments to establish long time series in the tropics extending from April 1970 through December 2001. The changes in tropospheric column ozone (TCO) for both La Nina and El Nino are sizeable when compared to local values which average from less than 15 Dobson Units (DU) up to 25 DU over the year. It is suggested that interannual changes in TCO from combined La Nina and El Nino are the dominant source of decadal variability in the tropics.