Understanding the drivers for the 20th century change of hydrogen peroxide in Antarctic ice-cores



[1] Observations and model simulations of an Antarctic ice-core record of hydrogen peroxide during the last ∼150 years are analyzed. The observations indicate a relative increase in hydrogen peroxide by approximately 50% since 1900, with most of the change since the early 1970s. Using two model simulations spanning 1850 to present, we show that the modeled relative change in annual-mean surface hydrogen peroxide parallels the equivalent signal from the ice core record. In addition, we show that this relative change can be explained by the relative changes in tropospheric ozone concentration and mostly in ozone photolysis rates (J(O1D)). The simulated signal is therefore intimately related to the changes in stratospheric ozone associated with increases in chlorofluorocarbons; this is further demonstrated using total ozone column observations and the associated observed change in ice-core hydrogen peroxide.