Changes in the vertical distribution of ozone over Canada from ozonesondes: 1980–2001



[1] Measurements of the vertical profile of ozone concentration using balloon-borne ECC ozonesondes have been made weekly since 1980 at several sites in Canada (Edmonton, Goose Bay, Churchill, and Resolute), since 1987 at Alert, and since 1992 at Eureka. Previous analyses of ozone trends over Canada have shown strong negative trends in tropospheric ozone. We present here a new analysis of trends in the vertical distribution of ozone with data up to the end of 2001. In addition, more detailed attention is paid to some potential sources of bias: total ozone correction, background current correction, and time-of-launch (diurnal) variation. For the 1980–2001 period the overall linear trends are primarily negative, both in tropospheric and stratospheric ozone. However, when the data for 1991–2001 only are considered, the trends are positive, even in the lower stratosphere. When the time series are compared with previously reported trends (to 1993), it is evident that ozone has rebounded at all levels below about 63 hPa. These differences do not appear to be related to changes in tropopause height, as the average height of the tropopause (as measured over the ozonesonde stations) has not changed over either the 22-year or the 11-year period. Nevertheless, comparison with another dynamical indicator, the wintertime frequency of occurrence of laminae in the ozone profile, suggests that this rebound may be partly a result of small changes in the atmospheric circulation, rather than a recovery of the ozone layer from halocarbon-induced depletion. The long-term trends in average tropospheric ozone concentrations over Canada are similar to corresponding lower stratospheric trends, and tropospheric ozone levels show significant correlation with lower stratospheric ozone amounts.