Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres

Decline and recovery of total column ozone using a multimodel time series analysis



[1] Simulations of 15 coupled chemistry climate models, for the period 1960–2100, are presented. The models include a detailed stratosphere, as well as including a realistic representation of the tropospheric climate. The simulations assume a consistent set of changing greenhouse gas concentrations, as well as temporally varying chlorofluorocarbon concentrations in accordance with observations for the past and expectations for the future. The ozone results are analyzed using a nonparametric additive statistical model. Comparisons are made with observations for the recent past, and the recovery of ozone, indicated by a return to 1960 and 1980 values, is investigated as a function of latitude. Although chlorine amounts are simulated to return to 1980 values by about 2050, with only weak latitudinal variations, column ozone amounts recover at different rates due to the influence of greenhouse gas changes. In the tropics, simulated peak ozone amounts occur by about 2050 and thereafter total ozone column declines. Consequently, simulated ozone does not recover to values which existed prior to the early 1980s. The results also show a distinct hemispheric asymmetry, with recovery to 1980 values in the Northern Hemisphere extratropics ahead of the chlorine return by about 20 years. In the Southern Hemisphere midlatitudes, ozone is simulated to return to 1980 levels only 10 years ahead of chlorine. In the Antarctic, annually averaged ozone recovers at about the same rate as chlorine in high latitudes and hence does not return to 1960s values until the last decade of the simulations.