Arctic cold yields “unprecedented Arctic ozone loss”

What was different about this year was that the temperatures were low enough to generate ozone-depleting forms of chlorine for a much longer period of time.” And it is worth noting that the “unprecedented” only applies to the short satellite record. There were no measurements of any kind prior to about 1979.

From the University of Toronto  and NASA JPL

North polar region views showing levels of ozone and chlorine monoxide

Left: Ozone in Earth's stratosphere at an altitude of approximately 12 miles (20 kilometers) in mid-March 2011, near the peak of the 2011 Arctic ozone loss. Red colors represent high levels of ozone, while purple and grey colors (over the north polar region) represent very small ozone amounts. Right: chlorine monoxide – the primary agent of chemical ozone destruction in the cold polar lower stratosphere – for the same day and altitude. Light blue and green colors represent small amounts of chlorine monoxide, while dark blue and black colors represent very large chlorine monoxide amounts. The white line marks the area within which the chemical ozone destruction took place. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Unprecedented Arctic ozone loss occurred last winter

U of Toronto physicists play key role in international study

A NASA-led study has documented an unprecedented depletion of the Earth’s protective ozone layer above the Arctic last winter and spring that was caused by an unusually prolonged period of extremely low temperatures in the stratosphere. University of Toronto physicist Kaley Walker was part of the international team behind the study to be published online Sunday, October 2 in Nature.

The researchers found the amount of ozone destroyed in the Arctic in 2011 was comparable to that seen in some years in the Antarctic, where an ozone “hole” has formed each spring since the mid 1980s. The stratospheric ozone layer, extending from about 15 to 35 kilometres above the surface, protects life on Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

The scientists found that at some altitudes, the cold period in the Arctic lasted more than 30 days longer in 2011 than in any previously studied Arctic winter, leading to the unprecedented ozone loss. Further studies are needed to determine what factors caused the cold period to last so long.

The Antarctic ozone hole forms when extremely cold conditions, common in the winter Antarctic stratosphere, trigger reactions that convert atmospheric chlorine from human-produced chemicals into forms that destroy ozone. While the same ozone-loss processes occur each winter in the Arctic, the generally warmer stratospheric conditions there limit the area affected and the time frame during which the chemical reactions occur. This means there is generally far less ozone loss in most years in the Arctic than in the Antarctic.

To investigate the 2011 Arctic ozone loss, Walker and scientists from 18 other institutions in nine countries (United States, Germany, The Netherlands, Russia, Finland, Denmark, Japan and Spain) analyzed a comprehensive set of measurements. These included daily global observations of trace gases and clouds from NASA’s Aura and CALIPSO spacecraft; ozone measured by instrumented balloons; meteorological data and atmospheric models. The University of Toronto team contributed to the balloon-borne data with measurements from Eureka, Nunavut, located at 80 ºN (1,100 km from the North Pole). The team was participating in a Canadian Space Agency-funded project making springtime measurements to verify the performance of a Canadian satellite called the Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment (ACE).

“In the 2010-11 Arctic winter, we did not have temperatures that were lower than in the previous cold Arctic winters,” said Walker. “What was different about this year was that the temperatures were low enough to generate ozone-depleting forms of chlorine for a much longer period of time. Arctic ozone loss events such as those observed this year could become more frequent if winter Arctic stratospheric temperatures decrease in future as the Earth’s climate changes.

The 2011 Arctic ozone loss occurred over an area considerably smaller than that of the Antarctic ozone holes. This is because the Arctic polar vortex, a persistent large-scale cyclone within which the ozone loss takes place, was about 40 percent smaller than a typical Antarctic vortex. While smaller and shorter-lived than its Antarctic counterpart, the Arctic polar vortex is more mobile, often moving over densely-populated northern regions. Decreases in overhead ozone lead to increases in surface ultraviolet radiation, which are known to have adverse effects on humans and other life forms.

Although the total amount of Arctic ozone measured was much more than twice that typically seen in an Antarctic spring, the amount destroyed was comparable to that in some previous Antarctic ozone holes. This is because ozone levels at the beginning of Arctic winter are typically much greater than those at the beginning of Antarctic winter.

The scientists noted that without the 1989 Montreal Protocol, an international treaty limiting production of ozone-depleting substances, chlorine levels already would be so high that an Arctic ozone hole would form every spring. The long atmospheric lifetimes of ozone-depleting chemicals already in the atmosphere mean that Antarctic ozone holes, and the possibility of future severe Arctic ozone loss, will continue for decades.

“Each of the balloon and satellite measurements included in this study were absolutely necessary to understand the ozone depletion we observed this past winter,” Walker said. “To be able to predict future Arctic ozone loss reliably in a changing climate, it is crucial that we maintain our atmospheric measurement capabilities.”

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From NASA JPL:

October 02, 2011

PASADENA, Calif. – A NASA-led study has documented an unprecedented depletion of Earth’s protective ozone layer above the Arctic last winter and spring caused by an unusually prolonged period of extremely low temperatures in the stratosphere.

The study, published online Sunday, Oct. 2, in the journal Nature, finds the amount of ozone destroyed in the Arctic in 2011 was comparable to that seen in some years in the Antarctic, where an ozone “hole” has formed each spring since the mid-1980s. The stratospheric ozone layer, extending from about 10 to 20 miles (15 to 35 kilometers) above the surface, protects life on Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

The Antarctic ozone hole forms when extremely cold conditions, common in the winter Antarctic stratosphere, trigger reactions that convert atmospheric chlorine from human-produced chemicals into forms that destroy ozone. The same ozone-loss processes occur each winter in the Arctic. However, the generally warmer stratospheric conditions there limit the area affected and the time frame during which the chemical reactions occur, resulting in far less ozone loss in most years in the Arctic than in the Antarctic.

To investigate the 2011 Arctic ozone loss, scientists from 19 institutions in nine countries (United States, Germany, The Netherlands, Canada, Russia, Finland, Denmark, Japan and Spain) analyzed a comprehensive set of measurements. These included daily global observations of trace gases and clouds from NASA’s Aura and CALIPSO spacecraft; ozone measured by instrumented balloons; meteorological data and atmospheric models. The scientists found that at some altitudes, the cold period in the Arctic lasted more than 30 days longer in 2011 than in any previously studied Arctic winter, leading to the unprecedented ozone loss. Further studies are needed to determine what factors caused the cold period to last so long.

“Day-to-day temperatures in the 2010-11 Arctic winter did not reach lower values than in previous cold Arctic winters,” said lead author Gloria Manney of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., and the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology in Socorro. “The difference from previous winters is that temperatures were low enough to produce ozone-destroying forms of chlorine for a much longer time. This implies that if winter Arctic stratospheric temperatures drop just slightly in the future, for example as a result of climate change, then severe Arctic ozone loss may occur more frequently.”

The 2011 Arctic ozone loss occurred over an area considerably smaller than that of the Antarctic ozone holes. This is because the Arctic polar vortex, a persistent large-scale cyclone within which the ozone loss takes place, was about 40 percent smaller than a typical Antarctic vortex. While smaller and shorter-lived than its Antarctic counterpart, the Arctic polar vortex is more mobile, often moving over densely populated northern regions. Decreases in overhead ozone lead to increases in surface ultraviolet radiation, which are known to have adverse effects on humans and other life forms.

Although the total amount of Arctic ozone measured was much more than twice that typically seen in an Antarctic spring, the amount destroyed was comparable to that in some previous Antarctic ozone holes. This is because ozone levels at the beginning of Arctic winter are typically much greater than those at the beginning of Antarctic winter.

Manney said that without the 1989 Montreal Protocol, an international treaty limiting production of ozone-depleting substances, chlorine levels already would be so high that an Arctic ozone hole would form every spring. The long atmospheric lifetimes of ozone-depleting chemicals already in the atmosphere mean that Antarctic ozone holes, and the possibility of future severe Arctic ozone loss, will continue for decades.

“Our ability to quantify polar ozone loss and associated processes will be reduced in the future when NASA’s Aura and CALIPSO spacecraft, whose trace gas and cloud measurements were central to this study, reach the end of their operational lifetimes,” Manney said. “It is imperative that this capability be maintained if we are to reliably predict future ozone loss in a changing climate.”

Other institutions participating in the study included Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany; NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, Va.; Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, De Bilt, The Netherlands; Delft University of Technology, 2600 GA Delft, The Netherlands; Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Greenbelt, Md., and Hampton, Va.; Science and Technology Corporation, Lanham, Md.; Environment Canada, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Central Aerological Observatory, Russia; NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, Boulder, Colo.; Arctic Research Center, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Finland; Danish Climate Center, Danish Meteorological Institute, Denmark; Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, The Netherlands; Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia; National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan; National Institute for Aerospace Technology, Spain; and University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

For more information on NASA’s Aura mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/aura . For more information on NASA’s CALIPSO mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/calipso .

169 thoughts on “Arctic cold yields “unprecedented Arctic ozone loss”

  1. ” The Antarctic ozone hole forms when extremely cold conditions, common in the winter Antarctic stratosphere, trigger reactions that convert atmospheric chlorine from human-produced chemicals into forms that destroy ozone.”

    Are there no naturally produced sources for the production of chlorine that could be a source for this process?

    “This implies that if winter Arctic stratospheric temperatures drop just slightly in the future, for example as a result of climate change, then severe Arctic ozone loss may occur more frequently.”

    I tought climate change was supposed to make it warmer, not colder??

  2. The previous levels of chlorine didn’t do this. A graph of atmospheric chlorine content should show that levels have dropped off below the activation levels thought to cause the ozone layer loss. Or that the Antarctic ozone layer should be far greater than it is.

    The Man-Destroying-the-World theme keeps coming up with connections that don’t make intuitive sense. And, here, I would wager, not observational sense, either. And models don’t count. Models of my future financial status I made in 1988 have shown me that models must be placed carefully to one side when the real world is considered.

  3. The researchers found the amount of ozone destroyed in the Arctic in 2011 was comparable to that seen in some years in the Antarctic, where an ozone “hole” has formed each spring since the mid 1980s.

    Wouldn’t that more accurately be stated “where an ozone “hole” has formed each spring since the mid 1980s.” when we first started looking for it.

  4. I’m confused. Aren’t high latitude temperatures supposed to go up because of climate change, not down?

  5. So they don’t even know the full story about ozone, yet everything climate related is “settled”. Sheep the lot of them.

  6. Now I’m confused. Am I supposed to be terrified because the Arctic is too warm? Or terrified because the Arctic is too cold?

  7. Wan’t the ozone hole detected in the 1950’s? Also. I read somewhere that at the poles during early spring and late fall the ocean may be degassing Bromine-Chloride which could be supplying some of the Chlorine required for the ozone depletion.

    I must be wrong though as such a peer reviewed study couldn’t possibly have ignored any of this when conducting their study.

    Sincerely,
    Barry Strayer

  8. I would suggest that the ozone wasn’t “destroyed”. What happened is that ozone was not mixed in to the polar atmosphere as much as in previous years. Ozone destroys itself naturally. It is unstable. It takes UV from sunlight to create ozone. We have a few conditions lining up that would naturally cause this noticeable decline in polar ozone:

    1. Reduced UV output in the spectrum of radiation emitted from the sun. If the amount of UV light is reduced, the amount of ozone created will be reduced. So we should see a general reduction in the amount of ozone available globally.

    2. Colder temperatures aloft mean more UV radiation is required create ozone in the first place. It doesn’t take as much UV to create ozone from warm O2 as it does to create ozone from cold O2. If the gas is colder, you should expect to see less O3 creation from a given amount of O2. It requires exiting the O atoms to cause them to create O3. If the atoms are already at a higher energy state, it requires less excitement.

    3. The poles get no sunlight in winter. This means no O3 is being created. What matters here are two factors: A: the rate at which ozone is decaying to O2. B: the extent to which polar air mixes with air from lower latitudes to bring in more ozone rich air created in areas where sunlight is reaching. Now I would expect the decay rate of O3 to O2 to be a bit faster in colder temperatures because there is less energy in the molecules required to maintain the unstable O3 state. In other words, if you had a given volume of O3, I would expect it to lose energy and form O2 faster in colder temperatures because the atoms in a molecule of O3 would not maintain the level of excitement required to exist as O3.

    4. If the polar jet is configured in a way such that polar air is kept more sequestered from air from lower latitudes than average, we would expect to see a lower amount of O3 in the atmosphere come spring because less O3 from lower latitudes could mix with polar air. This is pretty common in Antarctica where they generally have a polar jet configured in winter so as to keep the polar air aloft fairly well sequestered from lower latitude air.

    But hey, I am not a physicist. I’m just a network engineer. I am not seeing anything alarming in this information, though. To me it would seem exactly what I would expect to see. The part I am most unsure about, though, is the configuration of the polar jet over last winter.

  9. A large ozone hole over the Arctic, interesting. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t the whole goal of the Montreal protocol to get rid of the Ozone hole? Now, 25 years later ,we have an ozone hole of an unprecedented size, highly expensive chemicals are used in the refrigerators instead of cheap freons for few bucks, driving the prices of refrigerators up in a way that millions of poor people in Africa, Asia etc.. can’t afford to conserve their food properly and their children are therefore starving… Well, if it wouldn’t be actually sad, I’d write ‘Climate Fail’. But now seriously. 10’s of millions of people starved to death over the last 25 year and millions of lives could have been saved if billions tons of food would not get wasted due to improper storing caused by the restriction on cheap and highly effective freons. Somebody should be take responsible for that. Millions of children died due to the stupidity of the climate scientist and stupid politicians who signed the protocol. It’s just terrible.

  10. Found several sources for an answer to my question. Estimates given indicate 80% of atmospheric chlorine is produced by man-made refrigerants and “oderarmdeunderant” type sprays. Find this hard to believe given the abundance of natural chlorine available in sodium chloride and many other natural sources? I also note that “models” were cited in some fo the reference materials I found. Looking forward to reading educated resposnses to this article.

  11. “In the 2010-11 Arctic winter, we did not have temperatures that were lower than in the previous cold Arctic winters,” said Walker. “What was different about this year was that the temperatures were low enough to generate ozone-depleting forms of chlorine for a much longer period of time. Arctic ozone loss events such as those observed this year could become more frequent if winter Arctic stratospheric temperatures decrease in future as the Earth’s climate changes.

    So, is this NASA and a consensus of scientists stating that there is a real chance that the world might have an opportunity to become colder in the future? What about the massive global warming event to whit there will be no more snows evah?

  12. Hmmm…”antarctic was colder for a longer period of time…”
    This does not sound like the global warming we are supposed to be worried about.

  13. So what. Ozone is produced when molecular oxygen absorbs solar UV around 200 nm. The ozone will come back when the sun shines and the ozone hole is unique to cold -very cold- conditions. The rest of the planet will not be affected.
    Stop this alarmist nonsense. The ozone hole was a dress rehearsal for global warming. Cry wolf loudly and get congress to send money – lots of it. That starts the gravy train. More shoddy research, more useless models, more alarmist propaganda and more money, and repeat ad nauseam. Then get a climate treaty to really keep things rolling.

  14. So, global cooling is bad? Who’d have thunk it! But then, since global warming causes cold winters, I guess we’re back to banning CO2 emissions again using the doublethink/blackwhite of the AGW alarmists.

    Guess we banned those evil asthma inhalers just in time!

  15. Its really funny here (Canada) – this appeared on the CBC web page which I notified folks about here at WUWT yesterday. Now its in all our newspapers. It’s the words – extremely low temperatures in the stratosphere – that have thrown the AGW fanatics completely off the game plan. Of course the word – stratosphere – having further completely stupefied them as 99.999% have no idea what stratosphere means. Hilarious, really. David Suzuki never covered this in his fruit fly studies. Al Gore never covered this while inventing the internet. This isn’t on Hansen’s hockey stick. The IPCC don’t have an answer for their AGW fanatics on this one.

    Extreme cold!!! That doesn’t compute with the ice melting and flooding the entire world sea board and flooding South Pacific Islands either. Really, you need to witness the stumbling and staggering around this baby!

  16. Seawater appears to have a relatively high concentration of NaCl. Assuming that all “atmospheric” Cl is from human sources seems counter-intuitive. I am not a chemist, but surely some of that NaCl could make it to the upper atmosphere to cause changes in O3 concentration. Anybody have a counter-theory on this?

  17. “often moving over densely-populated northern regions. Decreases in overhead ozone lead to increases in surface ultraviolet radiation, which are known to have adverse effects on humans and other life forms.”

    A couple of facts that the authors manage to neglect.

    As they point out, these “holes” are occuring during the winter.
    What happens in the winter? People stay indoors, when they do get outside they are bundled up with little skin showing.
    Similar for animals, most of them are spending as little time exposed to the weather as possible.
    The authors point out that the problem occurred because the atmosphere was colder than usual for an extended period. All the more reason to stay indoors.
    Even in the more southerly regions that this “hole” manages to reach, there is only a few hours per day of sunlight, and that sun is low on the horizon, which causes the sunlight to travel a much longer path through the atmosphere than it would during the summer.

    Even if one believed that CFC’s were the major cause for this “hole”, it wouldn’t follow from the evidence presented here, that this “hole” is a danger to anyone.

  18. Translation:
    1) The study of the artic polar vortex (and of ozone layer dynamics) is still in its infancy.
    2) Somehow, somewhere, there is a link to the excesses of mankind. Doubtless, many will miss the apparent irony of extreme cold being simultaneous with unprecedented warming (including in the Arctic).
    3) Oh, by the way: keep those funds coming strong.

    Kurt in Switzerland

  19. Sea salt puts far more chlorine in the atmosphere than man related activities. Volcanoes many time more in the upper atmosphere. 2010 and 2011 experienced some rather intense volcanic activity in Iceland. Which happens to be very close to ….the Arctic. Hmmmm. Not worth mentioning I guess.

  20. Cause of ozone holes? I’m with Crosspatch on this baby. Folks the earth is tilted (I know that a surprise to anyone here) giving us winters with no sun at all over the far north. Where I live come January we only get five hours of sunlight a day and I’m in Northern Alberta here at the oil sands plants. Temperatures drop down to -45C – its dark when we wake up and dark when we return home. Further north there is no sun at all. No UV rays, period. No inner action in the atmosphere with the sun – and as anyone on this site knows full well it is the sun’s interaction with the earth’s atmosphere that makes ozone. Extreme cold that even fewer AGW fanatics even contemplate – extreme cold snuffs out life quicker than you can count to 100. None of us here or living further north have EVER feared boiling to death – but every single one of us know full well we can all freeze to death in a matter of minutes. Year after years after year it the same – we lose folks who we find frozen to death. Never yet found one human boiled to death in my neck of the woods.

    That the ozone in the atmosphere is so cold nothing forms as it should isn’t a surprise to anyone living in this part of the world. We barley exist.

  21. Are we to make Swimmingpools illegal soon? Surely they must release some chlorine in the atmosphere. ;-)

    rg

  22. Has there been any studies that compare the electromagnetic field that emanates from the poles as a possible control mechanism along with the solar winds for the hole? Just something I thought of the other day when i saw a picture from space of an aurora that seemed to mimic the hole at least in my mind.

  23. Enginear says:
    October 3, 2011 at 9:33 am
    Wan’t the ozone hole detected in the 1950′s?

    The answer is yes by Dobson, 1956 I think. That’s why the measurment for this are dobson units.

    Vulcanoes are a good source for atmospheric chlorine. There are some venting in Antarctica and the Islandic one would be a good candidate for the north.

  24. Note that stratospheric cooling is one of the fingerprints of greenhouse gas warming – the troposphere gets warmer, the stratosphere gets cooler, as energy is retained lower in the atmosphere. That’s right up there with nights warming faster than days as a distinguishing mark.

    This is in contrast to a warming due to solar influences, where both the stratosphere and troposphere would warm, and days would warm faster than nights. Neither of those is happening.

    This ozone hole sounds like an unfortunate side effect of the cooling stratosphere.

  25. The scientists noted that without the 1989 Montreal Protocol, an international treaty limiting production of ozone-depleting substances, chlorine levels already would be so high that an Arctic ozone hole would form every spring.

    Sure… LOL

  26. The premise that chemical (those from CFC’s) cause ozone loss also made the unlikely conclusion that with a 60 year half-life that the ozone destroying chemicals should be heading downwards quite a bit. This is similar to the last 10 years and our lack of warming. Inconveniant facts that do not follow the perscribed thoughts on how the atmosphere behaves….so it is glossed over and not mentioned that it is unexpected and that we should study the problem from a new angle perhaps and find out why the old theory was incorrect…but shrug.

    They used incorrect “mullings” if you will about how the stratosphere works to generate their ideas about AGW in the first place and lo and behold we see the same type of logical fallacies in other things the greens (or similar) people pushed prior to that. (in this case CFC’s, but take your pick on theory if you want.)

    It should come to no surprise to us in the real world that this is the case.

    The entire premise behind CFC’s was based on the false idea that the stratosphere and troposphere do not mix. This is the same false premise behind AGW if you think about it. They insist that the famous troposphere hot spot will occur because the air and temperature do not mix (kind of like that greenhouse.)

    Although there is less mixing going on at those elevations (and between the two layers at the boundary if you will), the air is not constrained nearly as much as required for really either theory to work like it should. The greenhouse theory required air to be constrained to a *much larger extent and the CFC idea is based on the premise that free oxygen will not exist in the stratosphere at some later unspecified date. Both are equally outregous, because frankly if ozone is created in the stratosphere with a reaction between O and O2 plus ultra-violet radiation it would stand to reason that the only requirement for the “ozone layer” is actually free oxygen. Sure, you can have catalysts that destroy this equation in theory in the stratosphere…that I would not doubt one bit. But the fact that the process will actually make oxygen no longer occur in the stratopshere? Preposterous. It is inevitable that this thought process would fail, and it really is the death of this theory when you think about it. The mixing between the atmospheric layers is the largest problem with these theories at the end. The boundaries between the layers of the atmosphere are not some glass window or a membrane that can not be crossed, they are arbitrary human deliminated boundaries that exhibit certain properties which for all intensive purposes are nothing like a greenhouse or an enclosed space that they say proves the physics.

    But just like AGW, every pseudo science theory requires you to watch the pea under the thimble. In this case the thimble moves to make sure that every scientist in the past was right even when wrong and in addition, “it’s worse then we thought.”

    There are many other quotes to come from that, and heck I wouldn’t leave it at just that, but I think the picture is fairly clear.

    We are learning that cosmic rays have a much larger impact on our atmosphere then previously believed. The correlation between cosmic ray radiation and ozone depletion warrents further investigation by itself, but these so-called scientists are so busy spreading fear and panic and selling their version of doomsday that they miss the bigger things they should be studying.

    The end result is that the Ozone theory was flawed because as long as free oxygen exists on our planet and the sun is shining, ozone is being created.

    We could have stated that back in 1989, but no one stood up to them. And then they come up with AGW. Like I said, it should surprise none of us. We all let this happen..

  27. James Evans says:
    October 3, 2011 at 9:32 am
    Now I’m confused. Am I supposed to be terrified because the Arctic is too warm? Or terrified because the Arctic is too cold?

    LOL!

    Just be terrified, and hand over your cash…sheesh!

  28. “Surely they must release some clorine in the atmosphere”

    Chlorine in that form reacts with something long before it reaches the stratosphere. The claimed problem with CFCs is that they are very stable and the compound is transported to the upper atmosphere. Sunlight then breaks down the molecule releasing the chlorine to react with ozone. But this argument fails in a couple of ways. First of all, there is no sunlight reaching the upper atmosphere to break down the CFCs which in turn would react with O3.

    Secondly, wasn’t there a paper out a couple of years ago that reached the conclusion that the whole problem with CFCs was overstated by nearly an order of magnitude?

    I don’t believe that we can state with certainty that CFCs are a significant modulator of upper atmosphere ozone. We have noticed no significant change over the long term after greatly reducing the amount of CFCs being released. We found ozone holes the first time we looked for them and have seen them ever since. We do not have enough historical data to know if they are perfectly natural and have no idea as to the bounds of natural variation of them. The notion that they are somehow caused by humans releasing anything into the atmosphere is basically nothing more than informed speculation.

    So the whole anthropogenic ozone hole creation hypothesis is just that, hypothesis. We are quite likely wasting billions of dollars (again) and costing lives (shuttle Columbia, for example) in our haste to “mitigate” something that might not be a problem at all.

  29. Actually, the colder temperature would slow the breakdown of ozone. It does require a certain amount of energy input to break the bonds in the O3 molecules, so they can reform into O2 molecules. O3 is unstable because you get more energy out of the breakup than it took to initiate it. But you still need the initial “kick”, otherwise the O3 molecule could not form at all.

    crosspatch says:
    October 3, 2011 at 9:36 am

    3. The poles get no sunlight in winter. This means no O3 is being created. What matters here are two factors: A: the rate at which ozone is decaying to O2. B: the extent to which polar air mixes with air from lower latitudes to bring in more ozone rich air created in areas where sunlight is reaching. Now I would expect the decay rate of O3 to O2 to be a bit faster in colder temperatures because there is less energy in the molecules required to maintain the unstable O3 state. In other words, if you had a given volume of O3, I would expect it to lose energy and form O2 faster in colder temperatures because the atoms in a molecule of O3 would not maintain the level of excitement required to exist as O3.

  30. Warmistas needn’t worry, there will be no related interpretation of the data. It really is impressive how well the orthodox media have picked up this code of conduct. Of those websites that reported this story, I have yet to see one that allows comments from readers. Not that it matters, since there is WUWT.

  31. Jeff:
    You are bringing the truth closer to all of us.

    Diamagnetism is the property of a molecule to react to a strong magnetic field and produce a weak magnetic field opposite to the strong imposed field. The molecule is thus repelled from the area of strong magnetic field (flux).

    Ozone is diamagnetic, with its electrons unpaired, compared to oxygen, with unpaired electrons. Oxygen is paramagnetic, so it aligns with a field, as opposed to ozone, which is repelled.

    So, where the earth’s field is strongest (emanating from or reentering the earth), one would expect the greatest effect to occur. This diamagnetic effect is still very small, but enough to measure. In winter, when molecules slow down in the stratosphere, the forces of diffusion (Fick’s first law of diffusion governs this, and flux in Fick’s equation is directly proportional to temperature) become relatively less than the diamagnetic repulsion, the colder the temperature. At this time, under these conditions, the tendency of ozone to move from areas of higher concentration to lower concentration is affected more by the magnetic field than it is when molecules are at higher temperature.

    Fick’s Law still wins, but relatively less, leading to a slightly lower concentration of ozone at areas of highest field strength. Remember that field strength is extremely localized, falling off as the cube of the distance away. This explains the localization of the “hole”.

    This can be corroborated, if the measurements for ozone concentration are of sufficient resolution, by observing that the ozone “hole” moves with the magnetic pole, the latter which has moved hundreds of miles in recent years.

  32. A contrarian theory is that the Arctic ozone hole could be caused by high cosmic rays. See:

    Correlation between Cosmic Rays and Ozone Depletion, Q.-B. Lu PRL 102, 118501 (2009)
    “This Letter reports reliable satellite data in the period of 1980–2007 covering two full 11-yr cosmic ray (CR) cycles, clearly showing the correlation between CRs and ozone depletion, especially the polar ozone loss (hole) over Antarctica. The results provide strong evidence of the physical mechanism that the CR driven electron-induced reaction of halogenated molecules plays the dominant role in causing the ozone hole. Moreover, this mechanism predicts one of the severest ozone losses in 2008–2009 and probably another large hole around 2019–2020, according to the 11-yr CR cycle.”

    http://www.science.uwaterloo.ca/~qblu/Lu-2009PRL.pdf

  33. “The Antarctic ozone hole forms when extremely cold conditions, common in the winter Antarctic stratosphere, trigger reactions that convert atmospheric chlorine from human-produced chemicals into forms that destroy ozone.”
    As soon as we read ‘…chlorine from human-produced chemicals….’, we have a sure sign of a baised report as it implies that all chlorine in the atmosphere is the result of human activity and that therefore none of it is natural.
    Try:- http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Ingles/Cloro.html

    TTG

  34. Please folks, please. Please stop saying that a possible source of atmospheric chlorine is NaCl, common table salt. Table salt has already been demonized by the medical establishment. Pretty soon we’ll have Cap&Trade for salt and we won’t be albe to throw salt on the sidewalk in the winter, and we’ll force our children to watch “An Inconvenient Salt” in school. Leave table salt out of this.

  35. If the Arctic stratosphere gets colder, it should get drier….
    ….that would make a colder troposphere because drier reflects less
    This is probably just another regulating thing….

    I’m going with the lack of exchange of fresh air and lack of sunlight…………

  36. There is a lot of chlorine, fluorine in the ocean and in air-borne salt. There is methane and there is fluorine, CO2, etc from volcanoes. Might we not expect some CFCs naturally? The ingredients are abundantly available from natural sources. Probably the earth made its own CFCs long before man discovered them.

  37. Is this a harbinger of global cooling? Or is it a reaction to changes in the Arctic’s ocean-heat circulation pattern?

    Way back in winter 1947-1948, as a young electrical engineer working for a large electronics manufacturer, I was sent to Point Barrow and the Navy’s Arctic Test Station to study the thickness of the ice in Alaska using some experimental ultrasonic equipment.

    As I recall, at Pt. Barrow when the wind blew from the north, across the ice-covered Arctic Ocean, the outdoor temperature would warm up a bit, maybe to around minus 25F. But when the wind came from the south across the frigid Alaska landmass, the temperature would get very cold, dropping maybe to minus 40F at Point Barrow.

    The night I spent in Umiat, which is on the Colville River and rather far inland from the ocean, it was really cold — around minus 70F as I recall. I believe there’s nothing like a nearby ocean, even if frozen-over, to help warm the local climate.

    I have wondered why, with the ocean nearby frozen-over, the air above the warmer seawater, even when covered by a sheet of ice, could be warmer than over the land. Can longwave infrared radiation from the comparatively warm ocean water below the ice-covered surface penetrate the ice and warm the air above?

    Is NASA measuring the water temperatures under the ice that vary according to changing ocean circulation currents, to compare this with the stratospheric air temperatures above the ice?

  38. How many years of Arctic Ozone measurements been taken? What is the baseline? Anyone know this?

  39. I’m sure the dramatic increase in solar flare activity versus the previous year (2010 was a *very* quiet year for solar flares) has absolutely nothing to do with it. It’s not as if the solar flares eject anything like ionized gases that traverse the 93 million miles to earth, only to get trapped in the earth’s magnetic field and ‘funneled’ toward the polar regions where they can interact with ozone to break it down.
    (/end sarcasm>

  40. It always gets me how there is a huge ring of HIGH ozone concentration (top of the scale even) sitting around the ozone hole. In fact, the perimeter of the ozone hole has the highest levels of ozone on the planet, and then when the hole closes later in the year (the hole is seasonal for the fall), that super high concentration of ozone also goes away.

    What is the actual flux of ozone if one takes the hole and the high ozone perimeter? That’s something I’d like to know, along with what is generating this huge concentration around the hole only when the hole is in existence? Looks more like ozone is being shuffled around rather than net made/destroyed, but can’t know for sure without the total flux.

  41. The real punch line is that ozone is also a potent greenhouse gas. By definition very, very bad stuff. We must get rid of all electrical things. Including electric cars. Higher taxes on electricity! (Oh, we are already achieving that effectively with windmills…Sorry!).

  42. Brady at 11:17 a:

    Hurricanes have a height of 50-60,000 feet, well into the stratosphere. The low pressure can suck up sea water, containing chloride and other salts, and inject them into the stratosphere. Same goes with thunderstorms to a lesser degree. Then the stratosphere distributes the salts. I don’t know how much, or how this varies over time, but probably no one does.

  43. Extremely cold conditions are causing ozone depletion. Yet, the lack of extreme cold conditions are allowing insects to destroy our forests all over the world. Yikes, It’s worse than we thought! Climate Change can cause extreme cold and lack of extreme cold at the exact same time. We’re doomed!

  44. Ged:
    Yes. This is other evidence that this is not a diffusion-based phenomenon. Like iron filings, the ozone arranges itself about the magnetic lines-of-force.

  45. Hi Brady.
    I read your links re the CFC and Ozone they are all uncertain as to the real cause and in fact suggest that they will have to revise/ revisit their original findings. The Junkscience links don’t work?
    But:
    As usual the Article sets me thinking and the brilliant comments have given me a new understanding of the Ozone hole in both the North and South poles.

    Here is what I find most interesting from both.:

    Sea salt puts far more chlorine in the atmosphere than man related activities. Volcanoes produce Chlorine many times more in the upper atmosphere. Volcanoes are a High source for atmospheric chlorine. There is lot’s of venting activity in Antarctica and the it is reported there are 1000s of undersea Volcanic eruptions in the Arctic region as well as Iceland and Greenland \ would all be a good candidates to produce massive amounts of naturally occurring Chlorine Gas in both the north and South Poles.
    So if the 60-year half-life of ozone destroying chemicals is reality there will always be a constant natural source of new Chlorine Gas vented into the atmosphere. To me this suggest strongly there has always been and always will be Ozone holes from naturally occurring Chlorine Gas with no help or hindrance from mankind.

  46. crosspatch says: October 3, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I would suggest that the ozone wasn’t “destroyed”. What happened is that ozone was not mixed in to the polar atmosphere as much as in previous years.

    I think you are on the right track, my still nascent understanding is that the “ozone hole” is actually an artifact of the stratospheric polar vortex. Polar Vortices “are caused when an area of low pressure sits at the rotation pole of a planet. This causes air to spiral down from higher in the atmosphere, like water going down a drain.”

    http://www.universetoday.com/973/what-venus-and-saturn-have-in-common/.

    “HALOE data show, however, a surprising phenomenon occurring in the center of the Antarctic vortex. Air from very high altitudes descends vertically through the center of the vortex, moving air to lower altitudes over several months.”

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/factsheets/HALOE-Ozone.html

    Air towards the top of the stratosphere has lower concentrations of ozone;

    thus when this air sinks within the funnel of the polar vortex it displaces the air below it, decreasing the concentration of ozone and creating an “ozone hole”.

    “The word hole isn’t literal; no place is empty of ozone. Scientists use the word hole as a metaphor for the area in which ozone concentrations drop below the historical threshold of 220 Dobson Units.”

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/ozone.php

    In addition to the transport of air with lower concentrations of ozone from above, the structure of the polar vortex also results in a low pressure area at its center, similar to the eye of a hurricane, thus one would expect lower lower concentrations of ozone to occur within the center of the vortex. I need to do more research to better understand this relationship and its contribution, but similar to the Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming Narrative, it seems like the Anthropogenic Ozone Hole Narrative takes a natural occurrence, i.e. decreased ozone concentration at the center of a stratospheric polar vortex and infers human causation upon it. While it is not inconceivable that CFCs might also have a contributory influence, this seems highly speculative, and they are likely a minor player if at all.

  47. For reference, “A polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale cyclone located near one or both of a planet’s geographical poles.” “The vortex is most powerful in the hemisphere’s winter, when the temperature gradient is steepest, and diminishes or can disappear in the summer. The Antarctic polar vortex is more pronounced and persistent than the Arctic one; this is because the distribution of land masses at high latitudes in the northern hemisphere gives rise to Rossby waves which contribute to the breakdown of the vortex, whereas in the southern hemisphere the vortex remains less disturbed. The breakdown of the polar vortex is an extreme event known as a Sudden stratospheric warming, here the vortex completely breaks down and an associated warming of 30-50 degrees Celsius over a few days can occur. The Arctic vortex is elongated in shape, with two centres, one roughly over Baffin Island in Canada and the other over northeast Siberia. In rare events, the vortex can push further south as a result of axis interruption, see January 1985 Arctic outbreak.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_vortex

    Here’s an animation of the Arctic Polar Vortex in Winter 2008 – 09;

    and this site offers a gallery of Stratospheric Polar Vortices;

    http://www.jhu.edu/~dwaugh1/gallery_stratosphere.html

    Per this September 2003 paper by Henk Eskes, Arjo Segers, and Peter van Velthoven of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), De Bilt, The Netherlands, “Ozone Forecasts of the Stratospheric Polar Vortex Splitting Event in September 2002″

    “The southern hemisphere major warming event in September 2002 has led to a break-up of the vortex in the middle and higher stratosphere and a corresponding splitting of the ozone hole.

    “the splitting of the vortex had a dramatic impact on the ozone hole, reducing it’s size and mixing ozone depleted vortex air with midlatitude air.”

    “In September 2002 the South Pole vortex showed a rapidly developing distortion and a subsequent split of the vortex in two more or less equal parts (Allen et al., 2003 ). On September 18 the vortex looked normal. It was displaced slightly away from the pole, but not in an unusual manner. From 21 to 23 September the vortex rapidly elongated. The process resulted in a split vortex on 24-26 September. At this time the ozone hole had been transformed into two smaller ”ozone holes” of nearly equal size. After the split the vortex remnant on the Southern Atlantic slowly gained strength and moved back to the South Pole during the first two weeks of October. The second remnant vortex over the Pacific rapidly weakened and the ozone depleted air mixed with mid-latitude air with higher ozone mixing ratios.”

    “In late September and early October, Syowa is located inside the (split) vortex. Ozone values remain low until about 10 October. Then the small remaining vortex moves from the South Atlantic towards the South pole, and ozone values increase. The ozone history at Arrival Heights is very different. As soon as the vortex starts to elongate, around 21 September, the ozone hole edge passes and ozone values jump from about 170 DU to high values of about 400 DU within one day. Ozone stays very high for more than two weeks and only around 10-12 October low, ozone depleted column values of less than 200 DU are abruptly found again. This is again related to the migration of the center of the small vortex to the pole. After this the vortex weakens and moves in the direction of South America, and the ozone at Arrival Heights reaches values of around 350 DU.”

    http://www.knmi.nl/~eskes/papers/jas1039_eskes_pp.pdf

    “The ozone hole is in the center of a spiraling mass of air over the Antarctic that is called the polar vortex. The vortex is not stationary and sometimes moves as far north as the southern half of South America, taking the ozone hole with it.”

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/factsheets/HALOE-Ozone.html

  48. The Uncertainty of past research comes to light!

    Chemists poke holes in ozone theory

    http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070924/full/449382a.html

    So Markus Rex, an atmosphere scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany, did a double-take when he saw new data for the break-down rate of a crucial molecule, dichlorine peroxide (Cl2O2). The rate of photolysis (light-activated splitting) of this molecule reported by chemists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California1, was extremely low in the wavelengths available in the stratosphere — almost an order of magnitude lower than the currently accepted rate. “This must have far-reaching consequences,” Rex says. “If the measurements are correct we can basically no longer say we understand how ozone holes come into being.” What effect the results have on projections of the speed or extent of ozone depletion remains unclear.
    The rapid photolysis of Cl2O2 is a key reaction in the chemical model of ozone destruction developed 20 years ago2 (see graphic). If the rate is substantially lower than previously thought, then it would not be possible to create enough aggressive chlorine radicals to explain the observed ozone losses at high latitudes, says Rex. The extent of the discrepancy became apparent only when he incorporated the new photolysis rate into a chemical model of ozone depletion. The result was a shock: at least 60% of ozone destruction at the poles seems to be due to an unknown mechanism, Rex told a meeting of stratosphere researchers in Bremen, Germany, last week.
    Other groups have yet to confirm the new photolysis rate, but the conundrum is already causing much debate and uncertainty in the ozone research community. “Our understanding of chloride chemistry has really been blown apart,” says John Crowley, an ozone researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.

    “Until recently everything looked like it fitted nicely,” agrees Neil Harris, an atmosphere scientist who heads the European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit at the University of Cambridge, UK. “Now suddenly it’s like a plank has been pulled out of a bridge.”

  49. Wow… nice of them to mix Ozone hole with AGW. I think they should tie up war on drugs/terrorism and swine flu to AGW too.

  50. Jim G says:
    October 3, 2011 at 9:19 am

    Are there no naturally produced sources for the production of chlorine that could be a source for this process?

    Volcanic eruptions can and do inject HCL directly into the atmosphere:

    In an article in 21st Century (July/August 1989), Rogelio Maduro showed that Mt. Erebus an Antarctic volcano has been erupting constantly for the last 100 years, emitting more than 1000 tons of chlorine per day.

    Mt. Erebus, has in fact been percolating for over a century [ARS], but the estimate of 1000 tons/day of HCl only applied to an particularly active period between 1976 and 1983 [Kyle et al. 1990]. That estimate has been since been reduced to 167 tons/day (0.0609 Mt/year). By 1984 emissions had dropped by an order of magnitude, and have remained at lower levels since; HCl emissions at the crater rim were 19 tons/day (0.007 Mt/year) in 1986, and 36 tons/day (0.013 Mt/year) in 1991. [Zreda-Gostynska et al.] GK

  51. “Actually, the colder temperature would slow the breakdown of ozone. It does require a certain amount of energy input to break the bonds in the O3 molecules”

    Quite possibly true as I am not a physicist. I was taught to believe that two molecules of O3 would form three molecules of O2 on contact as the bond for O2 is much “tighter” than the bond for O3. in fact, O3 will so readily give up that third molecule (which I understand is held in only a weak electrostatic bond) that O3 is a more powerful oxidant than O2. O3 really, really, wants to shed that third molecule and will at just about any given opportunity.

    But from some additional reading, it seems you are correct. It does degrade faster with higher temperatures. According to one source, the (sea level?) atmospheric half-life of O3 is about 30 minutes so it doesn’t live very long when it has a good chance of contacting anything that can be oxidized.

  52. pat says:

    Sea salt puts far more chlorine in the atmosphere than man related activities. Volcanoes many time more in the upper atmosphere. 2010 and 2011 experienced some rather intense volcanic activity in Iceland.
    It appears hard to find any reference to Ozone Depletion Potential with respect to NaCl or HCl. Also since the breaking of the C-Cl bond in CFCs is a photochemical reaction it can’t actually be happening when these holes form.

  53. Just The Facts says:
    October 3, 2011 at 11:40 am

    Your facts are right, just not explanatory of why ozone is separated out of the air preferentially in the polar areas. Just as you cannot un-mix the sugar out of sugar water no matter how fast you stir it, you cannot “Un-mix” components out of air no matter how much wind is supplied. This is governed by the Laws of Thermodynamics applied to the Entropy of Mixing. It would be horrible if during a windstorm, oxygen were blown out of my neighborhood! Fortunately the First Therm Law precludes this.

    The only forces in the universe strong enough to separate things against entropy that I know of are phase change based, or electromagnetic, magnetic, or ionic.

  54. crosspatch says:
    October 3, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Right on.

    That was the other thing wrong with the logic of the article. Colder conditions do not, and cannot make things speed up, or “trigger” things. These guys just lack the fundamentals. Reaction rates decrease by half for every 10°K decrease in temperature. Ozone is more stable at lower temperatures. Approaching absolute zero, ozone is almost infinitely stable.

  55. ‘Mr President. We have a situation..
    CO2 is up, and O3 is down. The massive heating caused by the CO2 has caused massive cooling and that increases the CL and despite the reduction in CFC the O3 is suffering. ‘
    ‘Dang – are we sure ?’
    ‘100 million per cent certain sir’
    ‘What does Mann say?’
    ‘He says if we give him the SubUrban Heat Island modelling grant, he’ll sort out the Hole with some statistics sir’
    The president looks away from the camera, drums his fingers, bows his head, looks up. grim faced

    ‘Lets do it’

  56. Very good points raised here – all showing we have no idea of the forces surrounding us that are in constant action in a dynamic environment with all forces in actions at all times at all places at once. Nothing is stable. We’re still arguing about the sun in reference to warming, years of wrangling about co2, why did age ages occur, or maybe how did the planet warm in the middle of an ice age? Now science seems to be at a complete loss as to ozone creation,(granted we have layman’s understanding) ozone levels, why they occur, why they disappear, or even how does any of this fit where? It seems to me at least the more questions we ask the more we begin to understand we don’t really understand very much at all. Something is missing from human physics. We know human physics break down when black holes come into play, or even dark energy that entirely affects the universe. We don’t know. Which says we have a real problem in basic understanding science has not yet solved. And physic affects everything around us therefore we’re all stumbling around in the dark here. Just my take.

  57. In a way, I guess we are fortunate that climate scientists study climate. Just think what would happen if they switched to the field of sexually transmitted diseases.

  58. KR says (October 3, 2011 at 10:32 am): “Note that stratospheric cooling is one of the fingerprints of greenhouse gas warming – the troposphere gets warmer, the stratosphere gets cooler, as energy is retained lower in the atmosphere.”

    I’m curious. As “greenhouse gasses” warm the troposphere, we’re supposed to see a “hot spot” (so far as elusive as Trenberth’s missing heat) in the tropical troposphere, which tells me the greatest stratospheric cooling should also be found in the tropics. But the “unprecedented” stratospheric cooling in this article was in the arctic!. So did the researchers find the “missing” tropospheric hot spot over the North Pole? Were AGW alarmists right (sort of) all along?

    Or was it just, you know, that pesky weather thingy?

  59. In response to Jim G and others:
    I am disappointed that so many on this website did not know this. One of the fingerprints of AGW is that the stratosphere gets colder while the troposphere gets warmer. And indeed, the stratosphere is indeed colder than it was 30 years ago while the troposphere does not match that trend. If tropospheric warming was due to conventional measures of the sun’s energy output, then stratosphere should have similar warming
    The problem for the AGW theory is that all the decrease in stratospheric temperatures all occurred in step functions around the times of major volcanic eruptions in low latitudes. There has been no cooling of the stratosphere in the last 17 years – only a statistically insignificant warming trend.
    There are more nuances than this post will cover – e.g., the role of ozone – but a careless look at stratospheric temperatures would support the AGW theory, but a more careful examination undermines it.

  60. The sun creates ozone, the sun takes it away. Mix in a few cosmic rays, and who knows what you get.

    Wasn’t the “CFC chlorine produced” ozone hole theory destroyed when the scientists involved actually did the experiment, they thought they didn’t have to do?

  61. Take a look at the NOAA data for 70hpa (~60,000ft):

    it was colder than average for the whole of February and March but then 2010 was warmer than average for the whole of February and March!

    Things are not going well for the believers in efficacy of the Montreal Protocol:

    http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/index.html

    this year is shaping up to be more or less the same as all the years since about 1989 in the Antarctic – ie a roughly 25 million km² hole with a minimum ozone level of about 100 DU.

    A conspiracy theorist might be tempted to think that news of the appearance of the long-dreaded Arctic ozone hole is just an attempt to produce some alarmism for IPCC consumption as there has been virtually no change for over 20 years in the Antarctic.

  62. A press release with no data. What are the high and low levels of ozone and chlorine monoxide? How low were the ozone levels compared to “normal”? Did they measure UV levels any where to compare with historic levels? UV exposure is so much higher at the equator than the polar regions that the annual ozone hole is meaningless. This press release has so little real information that the press should be complaining that it is a usless puff piece.

  63. bubbagyro says: October 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    Your facts are right, just not explanatory of why ozone is separated out of the air preferentially in the polar areas.

    But where is the evidence that “ozone is separated out of the air preferentially in the polar areas.”? I am arguing not for separation, but displacement, whereby some of the ozone that exists at the pole prior to vortex formation is simply displaced to areas around the pole outside of the vortex and to lower altitudes.

    In this graphic, note the ozone surplus that exists outside of the polar vortex (aka “ozone hole”);

    and in these pictures of Venus’s south pole, particularly the one on the right, note the “hole” in Venus’ atmosphere caused by a polar vortex:

  64. An Inquirer says: October 3, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    The problem for the AGW theory is that all the decrease in stratospheric temperatures all occurred in step functions around the times of major volcanic eruptions in low latitudes.

    The two large jumps and then steps down in stratospheric temperature;
    ftp://ftp.ssmi.com/msu/graphics/tls/plots/rss_ts_channel_tls_global_land_and_sea_v03_3.png

    do correlate well with the 1982 eruption of El Chichon, a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) 5 and the 1991 erupotion of Pinatubo a VEI6:

  65. Gary Hladik

    The hot spot isn’t as elusive as you might think:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/upper-air/2010/13

    Summary: troposphere is warming, radiosondes for January–December 2010 found it the warmest since records began in 1958, with a surface trend of 0.13 C/decade and a tropospheric trend of 0.16 C/decade (Radiosonde Atmospheric Temperature Products for Assessing Climate [RATPAC] dataset). The stratosphere remains quite cold, much colder than in the early 1990’s.

    Also see Fu et al 2004 (http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/temp-and-precip/msu/nature02524-UW-MSU.pdf), who did some good work on separating stratospheric cooling from tropospheric warming in the satellite records.

  66. Really? Back to the mythical “ozone hole”? The tragic montreal protocol? Some people know no shame.

    Ozone: created from O2 when bomarded by UV. Ozone is required to protect us from UV rays. However, when those rays are present, Ozone is automatically created. Or was it just me in the 80s that was flabbergasted that anyone professing intelligence of any sort was buying the “ban Freon to save the Ozone layer” hype?

    We were told that by this time we’d need like SPF5000 just to venture out of doors during the day. Wild animals would be blinded and scorched. Plants would be destroyed. It would be horrible, a nightmare, a Mad Max kind of future. The same overdone hyperbole that we are hearing RIGHT NOW about climate. If you weren’t old enough to remember this, well, it’s true.

    Here’s my analogy: Ozone is like a standing army. It doesn’t really matter if you let it fade to nothing when it’s not being used. If an invading horde shows up on the horizon and you are able to conscript an effective defensive militia, then you’re good. CFCs in my analogy are… um… hmm…

    The very notion that Ozone is some sort of precious resource that should never degrade is laughable… and… a scathing indictment of the first world’s education system.

  67. Just The Facts says:
    October 3, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    What do you think displaced means? How is displacement different than separation? Displacement means moving to a different place when something was once in another place. SO, if I have ten black and ten white marbles, and I move three white ones to the sides, I have not separated them? Only displaced them? Huh?

  68. “Unprecedented” translates as: “We never noticed it before we noticed it !”

    Same as Antarctic “oh zone holes”, nobody noticed them, before somebody noticed them, but the solar color temperature record, going back before CFCs shows that ozone holes have always been with us, as evidenced by the variation in the solar short wave end, which results in the color temperature shift.

  69. KR says:
    October 3, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Why did you pick early 1990s? Because that is just after the solar maximum for solar cycle 22 in 1990? Of course, today we have had the weakest solar cycle in 200 years, or thereabouts, with almost 850 spotless days. So the Who do you work for again, did you say? Not to go ad hominem, I would never do that, of course…

    The thermosphere has gotten cooler, the stratosphere has gotten cooler, the tropopause is cooler and lower. It’s The Sun, Sailor!

    The stratosphere is relatively cooler also because it has little heat capacity and has a faster response time because of that. So you have to figure out lag times accordingly. But we have yet to talk about lag times for dissipation of heat in dry gas mixtures (atmosphere), gas mixtures containing water vapor (thermosphere), liquids (70% ocean, yes earth is! says Yoda), and solids (land masses).

    No need for displacing gases or separating temperatures. I’m sorry, computer modelers, really I am.

  70. KR,

    I can cherry-pick, too: click

    The widely predicted “fingerprint of global warming” was always in the troposphere… until the troposphere didn’t do as predicted. So the focus subtly changed to the stratosphere. But of coursee when your model is falsified by the real world, the best course of action is to regroup and re-examine your premise.

    Using real world data like radioondes and satellites, the alarmist predictions have once again failed: click

    Face it, what we’re observing is mostly if not all natural variability.

  71. Enginear says:
    October 3, 2011 at 9:33 am
    Wan’t the ozone hole detected in the 1950′s? Also. I read somewhere that at the poles during early spring and late fall the ocean may be degassing Bromine-Chloride which could be supplying some of the Chlorine required for the ozone depletion.
    I must be wrong though as such a peer reviewed study couldn’t possibly have ignored any of this when conducting their study.
    Sincerely,
    Barry Strayer
    +++++++++++++++++
    Yes, I emeber reading that too somewhere. I m sure of it and the Bromine-Chlorine thing was also peer reviewed, methinks.

  72. bubbagyro says: October 3, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    What do you think displaced means?

    2a : to move physically out of position

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/displacing?show=0&t=1317674717

    How is displacement different than separation?

    Separation connotes a division into sub-components, whereas displacement connotes a movement due to the introduction of some entity.

    Displacement means moving to a different place when something was once in another place. SO, if I have ten black and ten white marbles, and I move three white ones to the sides, I have not separated them? Only displaced them? Huh?

    In your example you clearly separated out three white marbles. However, if you placed a larger blue marble in the midst of the white and black marbles pushing some of them to the sides, then these marbles would have been displaced.

    You haven’t answered my question, where is the evidence that “ozone is separated out of the air preferentially in the polar areas.”?

  73. Smokey says:
    October 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    They ain’t seen nuthin’! NOAA and other agencies are just using baseline realignment/readjustment for consecutive years’ runs. How about non-consecutive? Who says it has to be consecutive years?

    I’ll bet if I pick 20 dates of my choosing, I can get us to be really, really toasty! Or chilly, whatever…

  74. Just The Facts says:
    October 3, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    That is the whole point of the article, the ozone hole at either pole. The concentration is less at the poles than elsewhere. So the original concentration of ozone is measured to be less at these places. So either an original concentration (group) of ozone molecules has been separated out from the rest (displaced) to elsewhere, OR there is a temporary local effect where ozone is generated at a lesser rate than other locations. Has to be one or the other, according to Aristotle.

    My point was that you could not blow molecules preferentially around by winds, separating or displacing one type of molecule that was fully admixed out of a clear gas composition. At least using sub-relativistic velocities. Your examples, like planets that have polar cloud formations—you could have added Saturn and Neptune with peculiar hexagon-shaped polar clouds—are not atmospheric situations, but clouds. Clouds are not solutions of gases within gases, but physical particles of liquid dispersed in a gas, yes, these can be displaced and blown around by winds.

    Let’s let this one go. I think that we are semanticists, so let’s get back to the ozone hole discussion. If you want the last word, take it away.

  75. As someone who appeared before the Canadian Parliamentary committee as an expert on ozone I know you are all missing the real explanation for the discovery of this news about the Arctic ozone. It is provided by the recent announcement about funding from the Canadian government. This triggers the standard “The sky is falling” reaction. Guess whose funding is about to disappear?

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110912/full/477257a.html

  76. bubbagyro says: October 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    ozone is separated out of the air preferentially in the polar areas.

    I’ve looked around and don’t see any support for this supposition. In “Stratosphere troposphere interactions: an introduction” by K. Mohanakumar it states that;

    “The walls of the polar vortex act as the boundaries for the extraordinary changes in chemical concentrations. Now the polar vortex can be considered a sealed chemical reactor bowl, containing a water vapor hole, a nitrogen oxide hole and an ozone hole, all occurring simultaneously (Labitzke and Kunze 2005)”

    http://books.google.com/books?id=B93SSQrcAh4C&lpg=PA283&ots=d0-uBRjmyI&dq=%22water%20vapor%20hole%22%20polar%20vortex&pg=PA283#v=onepage&q=%22water%20vapor%20hole%22%20polar%20vortex&f=false

    This graphic helps to demonstrate the water vapor hole and nitrous oxides hole:

    So if water vapor and nitrogen oxide are both displaced by the polar vortex, what is it that the ozone is being “preferentially” “separated out” from?

  77. I think they’re shooting themselves in the foot this time. People live in the ARCTIC. People who aren’t exclusive to the NOAA and NASA polar alarmist dooright society.
    So we’ll have UV index numbers from Churchill, Yellowknife, and the like. And when those numbers ain’t moved a tinker’s damn the only sunblock that will be necessary will be of the tar and feathers applied liberally to climate charletans.

  78. In Canada the CBC has just re-written their story, twice, and headline on this item:
    Google: “extreme cold” site:cbc.ca

    [Record Arctic ozone loss caused by extreme cold – Technology …
    2 hours ago … Scientists say an unprecedented ozone hole opened up above the Arctic last year, caused by an unusually prolonged period of extremely low …]

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2011/10/03/arctic-ozone-hole.html – Similar

    Then they changed the story to change “Extreme Cold to “Unusual Weather”:

    [Record Arctic ozone loss caused by extreme cold – CBC.ca
    1 hour ago … Unusual winter weather in the atmosphere high above the Earth’s surface caused an unprecedented loss of protective ozone over the Arctic …]

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2011/10/03/arctic-ozone-hole.html – Similar

    Now they change the headline and completely reverse cause and effect.
    Click on the links you now get:

    [Arctic ozone hole blamed for weird weather
    Unusual winter weather in the atmosphere high above the Earth’s surface caused an “unprecedented” loss of protective ozone over the Arctic this year, scientists say]

    Stalin would be proud.

  79. KR says (October 3, 2011 at 1:01 pm): “The hot spot isn’t as elusive as you might think:”

    Well, as Smokey pointed out, yes it is (check the WUWT climate widget). Moreover, as Just The Facts showed, stratospheric temp has been flat for nearly 15 years.

    The whole ‘fingerprint” discussion, however, isn’t terribly relevant, as it turns out that AGW fingerprints…aren’t:

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2009/10/hotspots-and-fingerprints/

  80. For those who think that the ozone “hole” (better called an ozone “dip” but I guess we are stuck with the less accurate name) is formed in winter due to the lack of sunlight – wrong, it is formed in spring when the sunlight return to polar regions.

    Regarding the comment that chemical reactions run more slowly when it is cold – true in general, but in this case the reactions are photochemical (i.e. are initiated by light) and the temperature is not of direct consequence.

    The weather conditions are relevant as what is required is very cold, stable air circulation patterns (normal over Antarctica, uncommon over the Arctic) which allow very high altitude clouds (Polar Stratospheric Clouds) to form. These contain ice crystals on which chlorine containing CFC’s accumulate during the winter, ready to react when sunlight returns.

    Sources of chlorine such as sea salt are not involved – it’s soluble! As soon as it rains it washes out. The same is true of Hydrogen Chloride. There is one naturally occurring CFC which can get up to the stratosphere – methyl chloride (CH3Cl) which accounts for about 15-20% of observed CFC’s

  81. Stevo says:

    First off, the “ozone hole” hasn’t been known for very long. Any conjecturing about it is necessarily based on very sparse data.

    Same with the stratosphere; the satellite record goes back a few decades, radiosondes a little more. You’re basing your entire argument on a cooling stratosphere?? What about the missing “fingerprint of global warming,” tropospheric heating? That prediction didn’t happen, so the goal posts were moved to the stratosphere. If it weren’t for moving the goal posts, the alarmist contingent wouldn’t have much to say.

    You are basing your entire argument on the argumentum ad ignorantiam fallacy: “Since I can’t think of any other option, then it must be due to AGW.” You probably believe Michael Mann’s original hokey stick chart reflected reality, too. C’mon, admit it.☺

  82. OK, Jimmy, Davros is here, so listen up!

    You are right. Photochemistry proceeds at low temperatures in the first step. Excitation of n to pi-star transition state is initiated by the photon that homes in according to the wavelength allowed. For intents and purposes this is temperature independent. But the secondary reactions of the excited products is temperature controlled. The oxygen radical produced then reacts with, or gets “quenched” by other species. Or reradiates without change. Or reacts with O2 or N2. So production of ozone is more independent of temperature than is the depletion of ozone, that is under temperature control.

    Nothing is simple here. Which is why the computer models cannot even apprehend, much less comprehend the processes involved. Nor can we.

    But remember, it is up to the hypothesis maker to prove it. “Ozone is depleted by man” is the overarching hypothesis working here. Not proven. In fact, facts are falling on the falsification side, it appears to me.

    The inverse hypothesis, namely that ozone concentrations are seasonal and/or cyclical was proposed in answer to the initial hypothesis that ozone holes are man-caused. The inverse hypothesis of natural variation does not have to be proven, but it has to be disproven by the ozone-CFC originators for the original hypothesis to stand.

    As the Daleks would say, the alternate solution must be exterminated in order for the initial one to remain intact.

  83. jimmi_the_dalek says: October 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    the ozone “hole” … is formed in spring when the sunlight return to polar regions.

    The facts do not support this assertion. According to a number of sources, sunlight returns to the Antarctic in late August/September:

    “the end of the polar night (September in Antarctica)”

    http://uv.biospherical.com/student/page2.html

    “During September and October (the Antarctic polar “morning”)”

    http://www.stat.osu.edu/~sses/collab_ozone_split_background.php

    “The Antarctic polar night region covered most of Antarctica through to near the end of August, after which it is noticeably shrinking.

    http://www.environment.gov.au/atmosphere/ozone/publications/pubs/ozone-reports19sept11.pdf

    However, in 2011 the “ozone hole” formed in the middle of August;

    as it did in 2000 and 2001;

    and in 2003, 2005 and 2007 it formed in early August:

    Why does the “ozone hole” regularly form before “sunlight returns to the air inside the polar vortex and allows the production of active chlorine and initiates the catalytic ozone destruction cycles.”?

    http://www.atm.ch.cam.ac.uk/tour/part3.html

  84. Right.
    The Arctic Ozone Hole is all over the MSM in Europe and off course it’s all our fault.

  85. Just The Facts says: October 3, 2011 at 11:40 am

    What you put forward is all very relevant.

    But a few things need to be added:

    1. The erosion of ozone within the vortex (also called the Night Jet) is due to the admixture of nitrogen oxides from the mesosphere.
    2. The activity of the vortex depends upon surface pressure.
    3. 2010 and 2011 saw higher surface pressures than any of the preceding 10 years.
    4. The state of surface pressure at the pole is tracked by the Arctic Oscillation index. Tip it on its head and you have surface pressure. i.e. Low AO = high surface pressure at the pole. The index fell between 1948 and 1978, rose till the early nineties and has been falling since. The activity of the AO is correlated with geomagnetic activity.

    Dave says: October 3, 2011 at 11:43 am
    The result was a shock: at least 60% of ozone destruction at the poles seems to be due to an unknown mechanism, Rex told a meeting of stratosphere researchers in Bremen, Germany, last week.

    Tim Ball says: October 3, 2011 at 2:35 pm
    Guess whose funding is about to disappear?

    http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110912/full/477257a.html

    “Rex (another Rex) says he understands the need for budgetary constraint, but takes issue with recent statements by Environment Canada official Karen Dodds who said there is “redundancy” in the existing Canadian networks that can be eliminated.

    “There is no redundancy,” says Rex, noting that the current Canadian measurements are essential to the international ozone monitoring program.

    “The scientists in Environment Canada are bright guys,“ he says. “They have never wasted money by doing redundant measurements.”

    My comment:
    The ozone hole is said to be due to the work of man. The people saying this don’t want to know about NOx from the mesosphere and the role of the vortex (read Polar Night Jet).

    We must have a more educated public. This thread is an indication that most people, even in the interested sceptically oriented opposition, just don’t have a clue.

    So, if we are to reduce the hold of the witch doctor element on the public imagination and its purse we must educate them and win them over, one at a time.

    Politicians reflect public opinion. When the public is ignorant they take their advice from witch doctors.

    This site does a great job in raising the general level of consciousness and educating the public.

  86. Here is a link for the common CFC concentrations over time:

    http://cdiac.ornl.gov/oceans/new_atmCFC.html.

    It shows that the new unprecedented arctic ozone hole occurred as CFC’s have dropped about 5% since 1998.
    So the observation does not provide evidence that CFCs cause the decline. Once again its models all the way down.

  87. We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/mar/29/james-lovelock/print

    I’m still waiting for the MSM to pick up on this in the same way they would if a tobacco or oil industry scientist had said something similar about their science.

  88. Most of the measurements we have come from the south polar regions historically. Only recently has the north polar ozone “hole” been “discovered” and the storytellers been able to worry about sunburned polar bears. Probably Jimmy was citing this “spring” which is really “autumn” in Antarctica.

  89. Jimmy the Dalek says

    “For those who think that the ozone “hole” (better called an ozone “dip” but I guess we are stuck with the less accurate name) is formed in winter due to the lack of sunlight – wrong, it is formed in spring when the sunlight return to polar regions.”
    ————————————————————-
    Epic fail

    Down here in OZ we are usually ritually subjected to the mandatory scary “ozone hole” story in the last two weeks of September (yes – in “Spring”) but the actual readings refer to measurements taken in June, July and August, which is WINTER**.

    The “holes in the ozone” are a natural phenomena in each hemisphere’s winter. The concept was first postulated on by Professor Gordon Dobson in the early Fifties, on the basis that if there was no sunlight, there should be NO O3. However Dobson believed in the existence of high atmospheric air currents which he called “jetstreams”. His theory was that if he could show the existence of O3 at the poles at the end of winter, and plot the “shape” of the depletion, he could begin to map his “jestream” air currents.

    To this end he invented the “Dobson Spectrophotometer” and the “Dobson Unit”, both of which are still in use today for measuring O3 density. In 1957 – declared “International Geophysical Year” by the UN – Professor Dobson was part of the British Meteorological Team that went to Antarctica.

    Using his equipment he measured the extent, rate , and “shape” of ozone depletion – or more correctly – its replenishment, over Antarctica, thereby establishing the existence and general direction of the jetstream air currents. For his work he was named “International Geophysical Man of the Year” (sorry ladies, but that is what it was called).

    He co-authored a book about it – “Exploring the Atmosphere” – which was one of my Physics textbooks in senior high school in the late 60’s.

    Unfortunately, with the need to change history to accommodate the “CFC’s are destroying the ozone layer” scam of the Eighties, Professor Gordon Dobson and his ground-breaking work on jetstream currents has all-but largely been “disappeared”.

    ———————————————–
    **Strangely, to date anyway, there has been no scary “ozone hole over Antarctica” down here in OZ for this year, and it is now about two weeks late. I cannot help but wonder if the sudden appearance of this NH “ozone hole” bogus story above, referring to something that happened six months ago, is in some way connected to the absence of our annual scare downunder.

  90. doesnt ozone form when oxygen is warmed enough? doesnt the UV in sunlight accomplish that in the ionosphere? isnt there much less sunlight at a very bad angle over the poles in winter?

    seems to me ozone SHOULD thin out in winter over the poles?

  91. memoryvault says:
    October 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    I thought that the northern ozonizers might be in cahoots with the down-under ones. But how do they communicate? They have to be careful of email since Climategate. Using personal couriers like al Qaeda? Maybe encryption, like “the wet bird never flies in ozone”? Short wave radio, mayhaps? Godfather-type veiled threats?

    Or is it just consensus-thinking inside the box?

  92. The area under the hole gets no sunlight and hence no UV rays in the winter anyway.

    Its hard to get a sunburn when the Sun is below or just above the horizon.

  93. Really? Back to the mythical “ozone hole”?

    There is nothing “mythical” about the hole. Those of us who live in NZ know it is real.

    Come down here in summer and I can show you in an hour. That’s how long it will take to put you in hospital from sunburn.

    The causes might be in dispute, but the reality is a major pain in the ass.

  94. Jimmy:
    Nice reference page. I wish someone had told me that international preservation of the ozone layer was 16 September! My birthday!

    I recently, seriously, had to buy a new microwave because it was arcing, and I could smell ozone. I got a new one, but should have saved the old one. I could have run it outside till it caught fire. Could have replenished some of the lost ozone.

    Could anybody get together with me and we could set up an ozone-exchange trading company? We could trade credits for purchasing high-voltage motors and such, or apply for UN grants to make giant high-voltage ozone generators that point upward, like huge crackling van de Graaff generators.

  95. jimmi_the_dalek says: October 3, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Just_The_Facts : somewhat obviously, Spring in Antarctica refers to August/September

    If so obvious, please provide scientific references to support your assertion, as I provided three that dispute it…

  96. Mooloo:
    I live on Sanibel Island FL in the winter. You get sunburned in 15 minutes there, and we are in the low latitudes/

    Let me get this straight—the ozone “hole” occurs in NZ mid-winter. You go sunbathing then? I thought there was record snow and cold there this year. Are you in a polar-bear club? OOps! No polar bears. Penguin club?

  97. Jimmi the Dalek says

    Thanks Jimmi, for posting a link to some lovely graphs clearly depicting the start of the “ozone hole” from the beginning of July – around the equinox (you know, when the sun is crossing the equator heading northwards – AWAY from Antarctica), and peaking at the end of September, or the winter solstice in the SH, when the sun is at its most northerly point with respect to Antarctica.

    Or put more simply, thank you for providing a link clearly showing that ozone depletion occurs EXACTLY when we should expect it to – when there is no sun.

  98. memoryvault, are you serious?

    The winter solstice in Antarctica is mid June, Mid September is the Spring equinox! Look up what the words solstice and equinox actually mean please.

  99. bubbagyro says:
    October 3, 2011 at 12:01 pm

    “Your facts are right, just not explanatory of why ozone is separated out of the air preferentially in the polar areas. ”

    Ozone’s half-life depends on its concentration. As you compress it, its half-life decreases because the molecules react with other ozone molecules more frequently to form oxygen. In the stratosphere its half-life is very long. At the surface it is a matter of days. So ozone is produced in the stratosphere, follows the stratospheric circulation toward the poles, then descends into the troposphere in a ring around the poles, and destroys itself as it is compressed by gravity. The satellites see an area of high concentration in this polar ring simply because they are looking downward through a descending column of air containing ozone, not because the ozone is particularly more concentrated, so it is really not being separated from anything.

  100. erl happ says: October 3, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    But a few things need to be added:

    1. The erosion of ozone within the vortex (also called the Night Jet) is due to the admixture of nitrogen oxides from the mesosphere.

    There appears to be support for a contribution to ozone erosion by nitrogen oxides from the thermosphere and mesosphere;

    “Large amounts of nitrogen oxide are produced in the lower thermosphere through the influence of energetic precipitating particles and solar radiation. During polar night this NO is occasionally transported downward to the stratosphere where it destroys ozone and subsequently may have an influence on stratospheric and potentially tropospheric circulation.”

    http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/en/science/the-atmosphere-in-the-earth-system/topis-for-master-theses-at-the-meteorological-institute-of-the-university-of-hamburg/downward-transport-of-nitrogen-oxide-in-the-middle-atmosphere-during-polar-night-diffusion-or-advection.html

    Nitric oxide is an important minor constituent of the upper atmosphere that exhibits strong solar-terrestrial coupling. Nitric oxide directly affects the composition of the ionosphere, the thermal structure of the thermosphere, and may be transported downward into the mesosphere and stratosphere where it can react with ozone.

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/snoe/mission/mission_overview/science_objectives.html

    which I was unaware of.

    However, I question the degree/percentage of the decrease in ozone that can be attributed to nitrogen oxides from the thermosphere and mesosphere. Given that there is a “water vapor hole, a nitrogen oxide hole and an ozone hole, all occurring simultaneously (Labitzke and Kunze 2005)”;

    http://books.google.com/books?id=B93SSQrcAh4C&lpg=PA283&ots=d0-uBRjmyI&dq=%22water%20vapor%20hole%22%20polar%20vortex&pg=PA283#v=onepage&q=%22water%20vapor%20hole%22%20polar%20vortex&f=false

    it seems likely that there would be an “ozone hole” even without the contribution of nitric oxide from the thermosphere and mesosphere. Similar to the “global warming” that occurred over the last half century, I suspect that the “ozone hole” is caused by several different natural variables, along with a possible minor contribution from man. What are your thoughts?

  101. Jimmi the Dalek says

    Yes Jimmi, you are quite right. The “ozone hole” occurs between the period when the sun is furthest northwards respect to Antarctica (June 20 solstice) or “midnight” down there, and deepens until the sun is half-way back again (September 23 equinox), or “dawn” in Antarctica.

    As I said – EXACTLY when we would expect it to – when there is no sun. Even if my stroke-addled brain mixed up the terms.

    Note also from your lovely graphs that “ozone depletion” will now “diminish” in both Dobson Units and area, through to the beginning of July next year, when it will be “midnight” again.

    How . . . how . . . . .”cyclical”.

  102. jimmi_the_dalek says: October 3, 2011 at 6:48 pm

    look to see how much daylight there is at various times of the year – Antarctica is a big place, not just a little bit round the South Pole. Try this:

    http://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/fact-files/weather/sunlight-hours

    But if you look at the early days of the “ozone hole” the largest decrease in ozone appears directly over the pole;

    but this is the location that is receiving the least amount of sunlight, per the source you cited:

  103. Further to the above, it seems reasonable to me that with a quiet sun and less UV, the stratospheric circulation would weaken and the descending wall of ozone-containing air might move farther from the poles, i.e., bigger ozone hole. With a couple of weak solar cycles in the cards, prepare yourselves for an onslaught of ozone alarmism. Ozone destroys itself by compression and needs no help from CFCs.

  104. I just watched the story on the news, had to be CBC because they bashed Harper for decreasing staff in the ozone watching part of Environment Caanada. “We need these watchers now more than ever because climate change is destroying the Ozone layer” We pay them 1.1 Billion for this?

  105. Just the Facts – Early in the year someone called “Jimmi” tried to cloud the issue when I found an old explanation in the polar vortex…

    abstract:
    ===========
    Spring-ozone change in Antarctica and the role of the polar vortex
    Rumen D. Bojkov
    Atmospheric Environment Service, Downsview, Ontario, Canada

    Analysis of the stratospheric temperatures and geopotential heights confirms that the spring-to-spring ozone changes closely follow the changes of the thermobaric field, and that the rapid increase of ozone (and stratospheric temperature) in the spring is dependent on the time of the polar vortex breakdown, when favorable conditions for continuous meridional exchange of ozone-rich air from the middle latitudes are re-established. The stratospheric heating rates and the weak gradient in the vortex central region during early spring provide favorable conditions for weak upward motions, responsible for a substantial part of the ozone loss between the date of the solar penetration of the stratosphere, and the date of the vortex breakdown.
    Advances in Space Research, Volume 6, Issue 10, 1986, Pages 89-98

    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1986AdSpR…6…89B

    ===========

    Jimmi blamed stratospheric clouds for the 2002 Antarctic depletion anomaly when I invoked it as an explanadum, referencing a paper that didn’t once mention clouds to support his case! You can see that here:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/01/08/new-rate-of-stratospheric-photolysis-questions-ozone-hole/#comment-570430

    I notice that your mention of the 2002 anomaly has been met with silence.

  106. I think some people need to learn how to read graphs, and also need a bit more geography.

    OK .
    1) definition of seasons. I am using God’s seasons not mans. So (in Southern Hemisphere) June 21 is midwinter (shortest day) and December 21 is midsummer (longest day), March 21 and September 21 are the Autumn and Spring equinoxes (night and day equal lengths). So September 21 is actually the middle of Spring, not its beginning. Spring is (roughly) August September, October, Summer is November, December, January, Autumn is February, March April and Winter is May ,June July. i.e each season is centred on its Solstice/equinox because it is the amount of light that is important. Except if you are standing right at the south pole, September 21 is not “dawn in Antarctica”. There is actually significant daylight in Antarctica from August onwards.

    2) reading graphs. Look at both the area and the ozone concentration. Note that the graphs start at the beginning of August. Note that there is hardly anything happens until mid August. On the first time-shot hardly anything has happened yet so the fluctuations are small and not yet significant. Now notice that the change occurs rapidly from mid August to mid September. This is not in winter! After that ozone creation, which has been slowly increasing through that period, starts to exceed destruction and the “hole” gradually fades. And yes it is cyclic – next year something similar will happen. You want to dispute the cause? No problem, but any hypothesis has to use the observed data, which is that the effect occurs in the first half of Spring (with Spring being defined in terms of the amount of available sunlight).

  107. Bad science. Nothing says the ozone was actually destroyed. That is an assumption on the part of the NASA scientists. The cold air over the arctic could simply have pushed the ozone out of the way and carried is somewhere else.

  108. Khwarizmi says: October 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    Early in the year someone called “Jimmi” tried to cloud the issue when I found an old explanation in the polar vortex…

    Jimmi’s opinion aside, there appears to be a strong correlation between vortex breakdown and the disappearance of the “ozone hole”, i.e.:

    “Figure 4 shows the relationship between the Vortex Vanishing Date and the Ozone Hole Vanishing Date. The relationship between the ozone hole and vortex vanishing dates is such that the longer the vortex lasts the closer the ozone hole vanishing date is to the vortex vanishing date. Unlike 2008 in which both dates were longer than any previous year, the dates for 2009 are in the “middle of the pack”.”

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/winter_bulletins/sh_09/

    And the observed decrease in ozone concentration during the 80s and 90s;

    corresponds with “several studies (including Waugh and Randel 1999; Waugh et al. 1999; Karpetchko et al. 2005; Black and McDaniel 2007) have indicated a trend over the 1980s and 1990s toward a later vortex breakdown.”

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7598/is_20091115/ai_n42654411/

    This is a good paper exploring the Polar Vortices;

    http://www.columbia.edu/~lmp/paps/waugh+polvani-PlumbFestVolume-2010.pdf

    and the chart on page 10 shows the vortex break-up dates for the Northern Hemisphere since 1960 and Southern Hemisphere since 1979.

  109. Ah look who is here,
    Khwarizmi, I never replied to the end of that thread because it had died. But if I had I would have said that the reference was not supposed to say anything about polar stratospheric clouds, because I assumed (incorrectly) that you would know what they were. The reference was simply confirmation of the fact that the weather that year was anomalous.
    As far as your argument in that thread went, I would point out that you need to learn the difference between necessary conditions and sufficient conditions – as this years Arctic event shows, a particular weather pattern is necessary, but that does not mean it is sufficient – other factors are needed as well. To be precise, the presence (as observed, it’s actual data) of chlorine radicals activated photochemically which engage in a catalytic destruction of ozone (that is also actually observed in situ – it is not a model or anything)

    PS I added the extra identifier because there are too many Jims, Jimmys and Jimmis on this board.

  110. @ erl happ:

    “We must have a more educated public. This thread is an indication that most people, even in the interested sceptically oriented opposition, just don’t have a clue.”

    Well, I thought of your mechanism as explained on WUWT right off, so keep on pushing, erl!

  111. jimmi_the_dalek says: October 3, 2011 at 7:52 pm

    There is actually significant daylight in Antarctica from August onwards.

    Are you arguing that Astronomical Twilight is “significant daylight”?

    “Astronomical twilight is the time when the center of the sun is between 12° and 18° below the horizon. From the end of astronomical twilight in the evening to the beginning of astronomical twilight in the morning, the sky (away from urban light pollution) is dark enough for all astronomical observations.

    Most casual observers would consider the entire sky fully dark even when astronomical twilight is just beginning in the evening or just ending in the morning, and astronomers can easily make observations of point sources such as stars, but faint diffuse items such as nebulae and galaxies can be properly observed only beyond the limit of astronomical twilight. In some places, especially those with sky glow, astronomical twilight may be almost indistinguishable from night.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twilight

    2) reading graphs. Look at both the area and the ozone concentration. Note that the graphs start at the beginning of August. Note that there is hardly anything happens until mid August. On the first time-shot hardly anything has happened yet so the fluctuations are small and not yet significant. Now notice that the change occurs rapidly from mid August to mid September.

    What graphs are you reading? As I stated above in 2003, 2005 and 2007 the “ozone hole” formed in early August and increased rapidly during the first half of August:

    In fact in 2003, the “ozone hole” had reached 86% of it’s maximum size by mid-August:

  112. Addendum,
    Memoryvault, Just_The_Facts, Khwarizmi,

    While you are thinking about polar vortices, I should add, in case it is not clear, that these are of course the particular weather conditions that result in stratospheric clouds. So without the vortex there are no (or not many) clouds , and without the clouds there is nowhere for the CFCs (and a bit of nitric acid) to accumulate ready to leap out when sunlight strengthens. Try looking this up, or better still considering what site you are on, try asking a meteorologist.

  113. Wil says:
    October 3, 2011 at 10:11 am
    Year after years after year it the same – we lose folks who we find frozen to death. Never yet found one human boiled to death in my neck of the woods.

    Sit naked by the ocean in the shade of a palm tree at noon on the equator and you will not be hot. If there is the slightest breeze you’ll likely want to move into the sun to stay warm. Such is the power of global warming.

  114. StopTheClimatefascist says:
    October 3, 2011 at 9:36 am
    Millions of children died due to the stupidity of the climate scientist and stupid politicians who signed the protocol. It’s just terrible.

    However, the politicians and climate scientists involved gained fame and fortune and didn’t starve to death. So by the logic of politics and climate science, the folks that starved to death were to stupid ones. If they were smart, they would have got on-board the gravy train before it left the station. Climate science is simply doing its bit to help the earth by reducing the excess population.

  115. Just_The_Facts

    No I am not considering astronomical twilight to be daylight. I am considering, correctly, that the south pole is not all of Antarctica. Do you not realise that the other sites on this page

    http://www.antarctica.gov.au/about-antarctica/fact-files/weather/sunlight-hours

    are in Antarctica? (well OK not Kingston, that is in Tasmania, and presumably included to show how much difference there is).

    So some years shows the ozone hole starting to develop in early August. August is Spring! Look at the daylight hours for Davis, Mawson and Casey for August.

  116. jimmi_the_dalek says: October 3, 2011 at 8:23 pm

    While you are thinking about polar vortices, I should add, in case it is not clear, that these are of course the particular weather conditions that result in stratospheric clouds.

    I am familiar with the convoluted scientific hypothesis behind the Anthropogenic Ozone Hole narrative, “The Recipe For Ozone Loss”;

    “To summarise then, we have looked at the ‘ingredients’ or conditions necessary for the destruction of ozone that we see in Antarctica. The same applies more or less to the loss of ozone in the Arctic stratosphere during winter. Although in this case the loss is not nearly so severe.

    To recap then, the requirements for ozone loss are:

    The polar winter leads to the formation of the polar vortex which isolates the air within it.

    Cold temperatures form inside the vortex; cold enough for the formation of Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs). As the vortex air is isolated, the cold temperatures and the PSCs persist.

    Once the PSCs form, heterogeneous reactions take place and convert the inactive chlorine and bromine reservoirs to more active forms of chlorine and bromine.

    No ozone loss occurs until sunlight returns to the air inside the polar vortex and allows the production of active chlorine and initiates the catalytic ozone destruction cycles. Ozone loss is rapid. The ozone hole currently covers a geographic region a little bigger than Antarctica and extends nearly 10km in altitude in the lower stratosphere.”:

    http://www.atm.ch.cam.ac.uk/tour/part3.html

    However, displacement due to the existence of polar vortex, along with the associated decent of air with lower concentrations of ozone and higher concentrations of nitrogen oxides provides a logical explanation for the development and dissipation of the “ozone hole”. CFCs influence on stratospheric ozone concentrations seems highly speculative and unsupported by the data. For example, why did the “ozone hole” grow so quickly in 1994 and 1995?;

    That doesn’t look like a chemical process, it looks like a polar vortex coalescing…

  117. jimmi_the_dalek says:
    October 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    Sources of chlorine such as sea salt are not involved – it’s soluble! As soon as it rains it washes out. The same is true of Hydrogen Chloride.There is one naturally occurring CFC which can get up to the stratosphere – methyl chloride (CH3Cl) which accounts for about 15-20% of observed CFC’s

    Erupting volcanoes (certainly Mt. Erebus) are quite capable of throwing HCL aerosols high into the stratosphere, where it may drift across the surface of the globe for many thousands of miles. GK

  118. GK,

    It is possible that more HCl gets up there than I had realised, by it still seems to be a minor component, assuming that the pie-chart in the middle of this page is accurate, though I admit I don’t know if it is. http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/myths/volcano.html

    But it is somewhere to start – if you have anything quantitative on the relative proportions that would be interesting.

  119. Just_The_Facts

    Let’s try testing your hypothesis that it is all down to polar vortices. There are data on ozone measurements back to 1957 (contrary to some peoples belief that they only date from the 1980’s) In the middle of this page there is a graph. Have a look.

    http://undsci.berkeley.edu/article/0_0_0/ozone_depletion_09

    If you would prefer the original data try here

    http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/met/jds/ozone/data/ZOZ5699.DAT

    So after you have plotted it, can you explain why there were apparently no collapsing vortices from about 1957 to 1972, or maybe 1975 , but they have turned up strongly in most years since?

  120. @ James Evans
    ” Am I supposed to be terrified because the Arctic is too warm? Or terrified because the Arctic is too cold?”

    It makes no difference. We’re doomed either way.

  121. Would volcanic eruptions have anything to do with this, they release a lot of chlorine and aerosols
    too? Most modern refrigerators now use a less harmful gas, and most aerosols have got rid of CFC’s. There are not enough records about the ozone level to draw any conclusions, but possibly the chances of skin cancers are increased because of the extra UV getting to earth.

    I mean 20 years ago people were beginning to question the use of household aerosols, and stopped using spray deoderants to roll ons. Maybe as the planet gets colder there is more requirement for more UV to hit the earth. Haven’t much scientific on the subject. But years ago they said the Arctic Ozone hole was almost closing up.

  122. Just The Facts says: October 3, 2011 at 6:55 pm
    What are my thoughts? Simply that the night jet is a perennial feature connecting mesosphere with the stratosphere and the depletion occurs all through the year. Look at the situation in the Arctic right now at: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/

    The evidence for the effect of the night jet on ozone composition is not hard to find. The temperature of the upper stratosphere varies inversely with surface pressure (any time of the year) and it stands to reason that night jet activity is enhanced when surface pressure increases. The relationship is best examined on a daily rather than a monthly time scale. Simply take the timing of the sudden stratospheric warmings here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/
    And relate it to the flux in the AAO and the AO (indirect measures of pressure) here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/hgt.shtml
    There is a little warming happening in the Antarctic over the last half of September. The AAO is positive indicating low surface pressure and diminished night jet activity. So less NOx has been entering and ozone builds up causing the warming above 30hPa. It’s usually most obvious at 5hPa. In the context of what occurred last year the Antarctic stratosphere has so far this winter been very stable with high surface pressure (low AAO). The night jet has been strong. This ‘ozone hole’ is a perennial feature of the upper stratosphere at both poles. The cumulative influence of months of night jet activity is seen in spring at the point when the night jet begins to weaken as surface pressure is lost as the atmosphere migrates towards the winter pole. So far as Antarctica is concerned the big transition occurs in late October, November. The general level of ozone at this moment is in weak recovery mode as evidenced by the rise in temperature towards the 1979-2008 mean as seen here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/05mb6590.gif
    There may be a contributing effect from chlorine but NOx is working around in the background all the time. We don’t have to have to wait around till late spring to see the temperature of the upper stratosphere collapse.

    Remember ozone absorbs OLR at 9.6 micrometers and but for the presence of ozone there would be no increase in the temperature of the air above the tropopause. What is happening can be inferred from the temperature dynamic. It also confirmed by close examination of maps showing ozone, temperature and geopotential height. So, these parameters give rise to a pattern of spatial variation. Plain old curiosity and observation. In this time of sophisticated statistical analysis there is not enough observation of geography and dynamics.

    From the paper you cite by Waugh Polvani:
    The interannual variability of the vortices is due to external forcing of the atmospheric circulation, e.g., solar variations, volcanic eruptions, and anthropogenic changes in composition (e.g., ozone and greenhouse gases (GHGs)), as well as internal variations within the climate system, e.g., the quasibiennial oscillation (QBO), El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO), and internal variability due to nonlinearities. See Gray [this volume] and Haigh [this volume] for more discussion of the influence of the QBO and solar variation, respectively, on the variability of the vortices.

    It sounds very knowledgeable but it’s BS. Upper stratospheric temperature varies with surface pressure plain and simple with a secondary dependency related to the variation in NOx in the mesosphere related to solar activity.

    Another process worth taking into account: Ozone breaks down primarily via photo dissociation…but not in the polar night because no ‘photo’. Ozone content is greatest in the winter stratosphere. See maps here: http://ds.data.jma.go.jp/gmd/jra/atlas/eng/atlas-tope.htm

    Ozone is least in the subtropics of the winter hemisphere so there is a very strong gradient between the pole and the subtropics in the winter hemisphere.

    There is no part of the atmosphere that is less observed or understood than that at the poles. All the conventional distinctions between troposphere and stratosphere derived from observation of tropics and mid latitudes do not hold at the poles.

    The notion that wave activity affects the vortex is a red herring. People like the idea of an atmosphere that is shielded from all external influences.

    However, increasing observational and modeling evidence in the last decade suggests that polar stratospheric vortices can have a significant influence on the tropospheric flow for a range of time scales [e.g., Baldwin and Dunkerton, 2001;Thompson and Solomon, 2002; Polvani and Kushner, 2002; Gillett and Thompson, 2003; Norton, 2003; Charlton et al.,

    Now we are talking sense.

    Numerous recent observational and modeling studies have shown that changes in the stratospheric polar vortices can influence the tropospheric circulation, on both weather and climate time scales. However, there remains uncertainty in the precise dynamical processes involved.

    There should be no uncertainty. It’s a very simple process. I have a post coming up soon on this very subject.

  123. Where has all the ozone gone?
    Long time passing
    Where has all the ozone gone?
    Long time ago
    Where has all the ozone gone?
    We are baffled every one
    When will they ever learn?
    When will they ever learn?

  124. jimmi_the_dalek says: October 3, 2011 at 9:33 pm

    So after you have plotted it, can you explain why there were apparently no collapsing vortices from about 1957 to 1972, or maybe 1975 , but they have turned up strongly in most years since?

    I cannot yet explain why, but as I cited above there is evidence that such a variance in vortex activity did occur, i.e.:

    “several studies (including Waugh and Randel 1999; Waugh et al. 1999; Karpetchko et al. 2005; Black and McDaniel 2007) have indicated a trend over the 1980s and 1990s toward a later vortex breakdown.”

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_7598/is_20091115/ai_n42654411/

  125. erl happ says: October 4, 2011 at 3:28 am

    Interesting, that’s a lot to chew on. I will research further and respond after work, and look forward to your forthcoming post.

  126. Just_The_Facts,
    that paper that you cited appears to be the opposite way round to your interpretation. They are discussing events which occur in the Antarctic in November and December i.e at least 2 months after the formation of the ozone hole. Rather than attributing the formation of the ozone hole to the breakdown of the vortex, as I think you were implying (?), they are attributing the delayed breakdown to the prior formation of the ozone hole. But I would have to read it, and similar papers, more than once before I was certain of that.

  127. jimmi_the_dalek says: October 4, 2011 at 5:45 am

    Rather than attributing the formation of the ozone hole to the breakdown of the vortex, as I think you were implying (?), they are attributing the delayed breakdown to the prior formation of the ozone hole.

    Not at all. As I state and provide evidence for above, “there appears to be a strong correlation between vortex breakdown and the disappearance of the “ozone hole””

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/03/arctic-cold-yields-unprecedented-arctic-ozone-loss/#comment-758638

  128. @- #
    ArtisiticAviator says: October 3, 2011 at 9:45 am
    “Seawater appears to have a relatively high concentration of NaCl. Assuming that all “atmospheric” Cl is from human sources seems counter-intuitive. I am not a chemist, but surely some of that NaCl could make it to the upper atmosphere to cause changes in O3 concentration. Anybody have a counter-theory on this?”

    Several posters have raised this point, along with noting the apparent contradiction between the extra time of a cool stratosphere and global warming.

    The resolution is simple.
    With AGW the troposphere (lower atmosphere) warms, while the stratosphere cools. This is a well established ‘fingerprint of the GHG effect.

    Back in the 80s NASA modified a U2 spy plane of the ‘Gary Powers’ type to fly up into the stratosphere and map the distribution of various compounds.
    While there is a lot of naturally occurring Chlorine in the troposphere it is all in very water soluble form and is rained out with the water vapor in the mid to high troposphere.
    Insignificant amounts of natural Chlorine compounds reach the stratosphere because of the water solubility factor. The only Chlorine compounds to reach the Stratosphere are insoluble man-made forms.

    These break down with UV and ice-clouds to provide the Chlorine that destroys ozone far faster than it is formed by the UV. This process has been directly observed as well as duplicated in the lab and modelled. Unfortunatly the man-made compounds are very persistant so the HFCs released in the 70s and 80s, (as well as the illicit continued manufacture and use in other nations) are still around to destroy ozone, and will be for several decades yet.
    Thank goodness the global protocol provides SOME restriction on adding even MORE to the system!

  129. Remember that, according to the proposed chemistries, chloride is catalytic, not a substrate. It gets regenerated and goes on to do more ozone breakdown. A little goes a long way.

  130. “””””
    ozone-loss/#comment-758638

    izen says:

    October 4, 2011 at 6:58 am

    ………………….These break down with UV and ice-clouds to provide the Chlorine that destroys ozone far faster than it is formed by the UV. “””””

    Ergo, there is NO ozone, since it gets destroyed far faster than it is formed. QED.

  131. A question about Polar Vortices in general.

    This NIDC link about the Arctic Oscillation on Earth,

    http://nsidc.org/arcticmet/patterns/arctic_oscillation.html

    says inter alia:

    “The oscillation exhibits a “negative phase” with relatively high pressure over the polar region and low pressure at midlatitudes (about 45 degrees North), and a “positive phase” in which the pattern is reversed. In the positive phase, higher pressure at midlatitudes drives ocean storms farther north,”

    If the negative phase gives relatively high pressure at the poles AND that high pressure allows the polar air to push towards the mid latitudes doesn’t that imply that the normal air flow is upward and that a slackening of the upward flow allows surface pressure at the pole to rise ?

    A positive phase would give relatively low pressure at the poles allowing a stronger upward flow and the pulling of the polar air masses back towards the poles.

    I ask because on other planets such as Venus the polar vortices involve descending air at the centre but that would give a negative phase pulling the polar air back towards the poles and a positive phase pushing it equatorward again.

    The opposite of what we seem to see on Earth.

    Or have I missed something ?

  132. I think I have partly answered my own question.

    In the ‘normal’ positive AO situation the polar high pressure cells comprising descending air are situated at or near the poles.

    However when the AO is negative a weak low pressure cell develops at the pole and the high pressure cell splits into 2 or 3 components that then move towards the mid latitudes taking cold air with them.

    So depending on the setup the air at the poles can either be descending or weakly rising.

    There is still a difference from other planets though because there the polar vortex is apparently cyclonic but with descending air which I still find puzzling.

    In relation to Earth that all complicates some of the suggestions made above as regards the interplay between the various layers of the upper atmosphere at high latitudes and particularly there are implications for ozone creation, destruction and redistribution.

    The most interesting data to me is that found by Joanna Haigh who says that from 2004 to 2007 ozone amounts declined below 45 km at a time of quiet sun but above 45km there was an unexpected increase.

    I think work needs to be done on how the ozone quantities at different levels are affected by the interplay between the level of solar activity AND the changes in upward or downward air flow as the pressure over the pole changes.

    In particular changes in the upward or downward flow would alter ozone transfer rates between layers and also as Erl Happ points out the transfer of Nox and other chemicals affecting ozone from higher levels.

    FWIW my current opinion is that it will be found that the balance of all the processes leads to general ozone decline when the sun is more active and a general increase when the sun is less active. However the timescale involved is likely to be multicentennial such as from LIA to date or MWP to LIA rather than from one solar cyle to the next (unless there is a very large solar change such as may be happening from cycle 23 to cycle 24).

  133. George E. Smith; says:
    October 4, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Thanks George, for getting back to the article. I got frustrated with the posts that were focusing on ozone generation. I was trying to get to the premise of the U of Toronto paper that said that ozone was being destroyed, Destroy means it was there, but it was annihilated by something.

    I tend to agree that less ozone is being produced, But that is not the premise of the paper. Less being produced is not the same as some being destroyed (or “displaced”, as some here have asserted).

  134. Stephen Wilde says:
    October 4, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    We haven’t discussed much the accuracy of the Dobson method. A several mm beam is shot through the column of atmosphere at several different wavelengths. The column is many kilometers long. Finally, an equation determines the relationship among the absorption at different wavelengths, some of which wavelengths are absorptive for the wavelength of ozone, some are not. So a Dobson unit is a derived measurement.

    A plane, radiosonde, or satellite sees a different column depending on the altitude of the source.The instrumental accuracies are very good, around 2%. However, the absolute accuracy is open for question.

    There is no doubt that the Dobson results vary by season. However, as some here have pointed out, measurement conditions, such as the amount of water vapor in the cold months is different. So when humidity is higher, the broad absorption spectrum of water vapor interferes more with the measurement column that is trying to be specific for ozone absorption. Yearly variations in the polar vortexes and cloud conditions change according to climate variations, such as the AO.

    So, might we have a further complication, in that we may have a measurement problem? Isn’t it possible that a confounding problem (systematic error) is introduced?

    As an analytical chemist, I always question the assumptions in the instrumental method.

  135. No one ever bothers to mention volcanoes belching chlorine, it is always mankind’s fault.
    EFFECTS OF VOLCANIC GASES…..

    Chlorine

    Chlorine is emitted from volcanoes in the form of hydrochloric acid (HCl), which breaks down into chlorine and chlorine monoxide (ClO) molecules. The sulfate aerosols furnish sites for chemical reactions that release the chlorine atoms…. The reactive chlorine atoms then proceed to destroy ozone, with each chlorine atom being recycled many times….. http://volcanology.geol.ucsb.edu/gas.htm

    Map of Alaskan volcanoes: http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/#

    “New evidence deep beneath the Arctic ice suggests that a series of underwater volcanoes have erupted in violent explosions in the past decade…….” http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/25419241/ns/technology_and_science-science/t/volcanoes-erupting-beneath-arctic-ice/

    Thousand of new volcanoes revealed beneath the waves:
    …The team estimates that in total there could be about 3 million submarine volcanoes, 39,000 of which rise more than 1000 metres over the sea bed…. “
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12218

    Submarine Ring of Fire 2006: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/yos/multimedia/oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/explorations/06fire/welcome.html

    Of course volcanoes could not have anything to do with the presence of chlorine, it has to be man who is responsible. /sarc

  136. Just_The_Facts
    says
    Not at all. As I state and provide evidence for above, “there appears to be a strong correlation between vortex breakdown and the disappearance of the “ozone hole””

    To which I am afraid I have to say “so what”. Just because there is a correlation between two events occurring in the Antarctic summer, which is when you would expect those events to occur, it is a major leap of logic to claim that that means that the vortex is the cause of the ozone hole, and the paper that you cite does not state that it is. As I have already stated, it seems that the vortex is a necessary precondition, but that is not the same as cause.

  137. Gail : “Thousand of new volcanoes revealed beneath the waves: ”

    Hydrogen chloride is water soluble….

  138. jimmi_the_dalek says: October 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Just because there is a correlation between two events occurring in the Antarctic summer, which is when you would expect those events to occur, it is a major leap of logic to claim that that means that the vortex is the cause of the ozone hole, and the paper that you cite does not state that it is. As I have already stated, it seems that the vortex is a necessary precondition, but that is
    not the same as cause.

    Why did the “ozone hole” grow so quickly in 1994 and 1995?:

  139. erl happ says: October 4, 2011 at 3:28 am
    Simply that the night jet is a perennial feature connecting mesosphere with the stratosphere and the depletion occurs all through the year.

    Wouldn’t this make the term “night jet” a misnomer? Are these polar jets that rise and intensify during the polar night?

    Look at the situation in the Arctic right now at: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/strat_a_f/

    I see an ozone dip down to 30 hPa;

    but nothing significant below that:

    The evidence for the effect of the night jet on ozone composition is not hard to find.

    I definitely agree.

    The temperature of the upper stratosphere varies inversely with surface pressure (any time of the year) and it stands to reason that night jet activity is enhanced when surface pressure increases. The relationship is best examined on a daily rather than a monthly time scale. Simply take the timing of the sudden stratospheric warmings here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/temperature/
    And relate it to the flux in the AAO and the AO (indirect measures of pressure) here: http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/precip/CWlink/daily_ao_index/hgt.shtml

    I see the relationship you cite, but am not sure that it, “stands to reason that night jet activity is enhanced when surface pressure increases.” Couldn’t it be the inverse, i.e. that surface pressure increases when night jet activity is enhanced?

    We don’t have to have to wait around till late spring to see the temperature of the upper stratosphere collapse.

    Upper stratospheric temperature varies with surface pressure plain and simple with a secondary dependency related to the variation in NOx in the mesosphere related to solar activity.

    I am not sure what you mean here. Are you inferring sudden stratospheric warmings aren’t associated with vortex break-up, or rather that some stratospheric warming can be seen prior to break up?

    “The first three Arctic winters of the ACE mission represented two extremes of winter variability: Stratospheric sudden warmings (SSWs) in 2004 and 2006 were among the strongest, most prolonged on record; 2005 was a record cold winter.”

    “Temperature and vortex evolution was very similar in the two years [2004 and 2006], with the vortex breaking down throughout the stratosphere, reforming quickly in the upper stratosphere, while remaining weak in the middle and (especially) lower stratosphere.”

    “2005 was the coldest winter on record in the lower stratosphere, but with an early final warming in mid-March.”

    “Disparate temperature profile structure and vortex evolution resulted in much lower (higher) temperatures in the upper (lower) stratosphere in 2004 and 2006 than in 2005. Satellite temperatures agree well with lidar data up to 50–60 km, and ACE-FTS, MLS and SABER show good agreement in high-latitude temperatures throughout the winters. Consistent with a strong, cold upper stratospheric vortex and enhanced radiative cooling after the SSWs, MLS and ACE-FTS trace gas measurements show strongly enhanced descent in the upper stratospheric vortex in late January through March 2006 compared to that in 2005.”

    http://www.ace.uwaterloo.ca/publications/Manney-ExtremeArcticWinters_ACP.pdf

    The notion that wave activity affects the vortex is a red herring.
    Can you provide support for this assertion?

    “Observational studies have confirmed that the vertical propagation of primarily topographically forced Rossby waves into the stratosphere is the cause for sudden warming events that occur in the stratosphere around midwinter about every other year. Holton (2004) chapter 12.4 describes such events as follows. During normal years, the mean temperature profile of the lower stratosphere has minimum temperatures above the equator with a temperature maximum at the summertime pole. In the wintertime hemisphere a local maximum around 45° exists followed by a rapid decrease in temperature toward the pole (see Holton figure 12.2). The rapid decrease is explained through the thermal wind requirement of a zonal vortex with strong westerly shear with height. About every other year a breakdown of the zonal vortex occurs due to enhanced vertical propagation of Rossby waves. The breakdown happens quickly in the span of a few days and leads to a reversal of the meridional temperature gradient and creation of a circumpolar easterly current due to a sudden warming of the stratosphere.”

    http://www.rsmas.miami.edu/users/isavelyev/GFD-2/Rossby%20waves.pdf

    There should be no uncertainty. It’s a very simple process. I have a post coming up soon on this very subject.

    I look forward to your post, but remain quite uncertain. I cannot imagine vortex behavior and influence to be a very simple process.

  140. Theory predicts:
    * Increased GHG ==> tropospheric warming
    * Tropospheric warming ==> stratospheric cooling
    * Tropsopheric warming ==> increased sea ice loss
    * Stratospheric cooling ==> more PSCs
    * Stratospheric cooling ==> ozone depletion

    Which of these are occurring in the arctic? All of them.

    Conclusion: the theory must be wrong.

  141. Just_The_Facts

    I hope you do not think that the vertical line on those graphs corresponds to an actual measurement?

    In fact it means that those years they had no measurements at the beginning of the period, and some poking about on the NOAA site reveals that there were problems with the satellites being in the wrong place.

  142. The Antarctic has reduced hours of sunlight a year, so does the Arctic and Arctic circle. Even the Hebrides in Northern Scotland. But they do have longer up to 22 hours of sun in the warmer months. Lands of the midnight sun anyone remember that? I doubt if the sun has much influence
    there but the temperatures might.

  143. jimmi_the_dalek says: October 4, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    I hope you do not think that the vertical line on those graphs corresponds to an actual measurement?

    In fact it means that those years they had no measurements at the beginning of the period, and some poking about on the NOAA site reveals that there were problems with the satellites being in the wrong place.

    I like your evidence-less argumentative style… Post links to support your assertions or be ignored.

    1998 also had a very rapid rise;

    and in 1980 there was essentially no rise:

    Based on your assertion it looks like NOAA satellites are regularly “in the wrong place” or more likely they are simply tracking the coalescing and break up of the polar vortex.

  144. Just_The_Facts, says
    “Based on your assertion it looks like NOAA satellites are regularly “in the wrong place” or more likely they are simply tracking the coalescing and break up of the polar vortex.”

    I think you need to be reminded again when winter is in Antarctica – the polar vortex forms in winter (May, June, July), the ozone hole forms in spring (August, September, October)

    1980? LOL as they on the internet – what you are seeing is that there was no ozone hole in 1980!

    Try NASA’s page http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/meteorology/annual_data.html where they summarise the data – there are links within that page, so if you click on a particular year you get more information and images. Just look at how the “ozone hole” changes from year to year.

    Another source of year-by-year data is NOAA http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/winter_bulletins/
    To get the earlier ones you have to click on archive.

    1994 and 1995. What do you think you are seeing in those graphs? I am used to questioning data (I’m a sceptic!) so my first thought on seeing those is that the strange shape is caused by missing data. If you want to interpret it, as you said, as the polar vortex coalescing then you must think that it sprang fully formed from zero to full strength on one day in September. Do you really think that?
    Anyway the NASA site omits all data for 1995, and the British Antarctic Survey http://www.theozonehole.com/ozoneholehistory.htm says (scroll right down the page) “no satellite in place” for 1995, and the NASA site for 1994 makes it obvious that there is a months data missing, and the NOAA site (follow the the links to the full history for 1994) also makes it clear that they could not get a satellite into position.

    1998? No idea , could be instrumental problems, could be small fluctuations at the start of the process – why don’t you try to explain it?

    Anyway, if you are trying to argue that the polar vortex is the cause, the sole cause and nothing but the cause of the ozone hole then you have a problem, because you have to explain this

    which shows the size of the hole, and compare it with this

    which shows the area of the coldest part of the polar vortex, i.e. the area cold enough to form PSCs and you need an explanation of why the vortex is much the same back through the years, but the ozone hole is not. Perhaps there is in fact an extra factor at work? As a clue to what it might be you need to go no further than the nice graphic at the top of this very thread – on the left you have an image of the Arctic hole this year – on the right you have…..Oh, it’s map of the ClO concentration.

  145. jimmi_the_dalek says: October 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    the polar vortex forms in winter (May, June, July), the ozone hole forms in spring (August, September, October)

    Mostly correct, however in 2007;

    2005;

    1991;

    and 1990;

    the “Ozone Hole” appears to have formed in July, at least according to NOAA.

    1980? LOL as they on the internet – what you are seeing is that there was no ozone hole in 1980!

    Funny, it looks more like a sensor failure, or crappy data, to me…

    Try NASA’s page http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/meteorology/annual_data.html where they summarise the data – there are links within that page, so if you click on a particular year you get more information and images. Just look at how the “ozone hole” changes from year to year.
    Another source of year-by-year data is NOAA http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/winter_bulletins/
    To get the earlier ones you have to click on archive.

    Good resources. Thank you.

    1994 and 1995. What do you think you are seeing in those graphs? I am used to questioning data (I’m a sceptic!) so my first thought on seeing those is that the strange shape is caused by missing data.

    Anyway the NASA site omits all data for 1995, and the British Antarctic Survey http://www.theozonehole.com/ozoneholehistory.htm says (scroll right down the page) “no satellite in place” for 1995, and the NASA site for 1994 makes it obvious that there is a months data missing, and the NOAA site (follow the the links to the full history for 1994) also makes it clear that they could not get a satellite into position.

    The NASA site seems to indicate that there was a gap between the 1993–1994 data from the TOMS instrument on the Soviet-built Meteor-3 satellite and 1996–October 2004 data from the NASA Earth Probe TOMS satellite.

    If you want to interpret it, as you said, as the polar vortex coalescing then you must think that it sprang fully formed from zero to full strength on one day in September. Do you really think that?

    No. But conceptually a vortex can form very rapidly, e.g. a tornado or a vortex in a draining sink, once the conditions are right. I am not really sure what to make of this data. At present I have limited confidence in its veracity, especially all of the data before 1996…

    1998? No idea , could be instrumental problems, could be small fluctuations at the start of the process – why don’t you try to explain it?

    NASA’s 1998 Ozone Hole Area:

    http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/meteorology/figures/merra/ozone/toms_areas_1998_toms+merra.pdf

    looks markedly different from NOAAs 1998 Ozone Hole Area:

    My explanation, our understanding of Earth’s climate system is rudimentary at best, our measurement capabilities are awful and our historical record is laughably brief.

    Anyway, if you are trying to argue that the polar vortex is the cause, the sole cause and nothing but the cause of the ozone hole then you have a problem, because you have to explain this

    which shows the size of the hole, and compare it with this

    which shows the area of the coldest part of the polar vortex, i.e. the area cold enough to form PSCs and you need an explanation of why the vortex is much the same back through the years, but the ozone hole is not. Perhaps there is in fact an extra factor at work?

    I agree, the vortex hypothesis is weak. While it may be a factor, I think there are likely a number of other variables and processes that we have yet to understand.

    As a clue to what it might be you need to go no further than the nice graphic at the top of this very thread – on the left you have an image of the Arctic hole this year – on the right you have…..Oh, it’s map of the ClO concentration.

    I am definitely not sold on the Anthropogenic Ozone Hole hypothesis. The data to support it appears spotty and flimsy, and the hypothesis behind it seems contrived. You seem to be a fan, why are you so convinced?

  146. jimmi_the_dalek says: October 5, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    I am used to questioning data (I’m a sceptic!) so my first thought on seeing those is that the strange shape is caused by missing data.

    I concur, and it’s things like this that certainly don’t engender confidence:

    “Nimbus-7 TOMS Instrument and Satellite Information

    The TOMS program began with the launch of TOMS Flight Model #1 on the Nimbus-7 spacecraft on October 24, 1978. Valid measurements started in November of that same year and the instrument continued to return data long after all other on-board experiments had failed. The TOMS instrument fell silent in May 1993. The software to derive useful information from the data returned by Nimbus 7 TOMS is the basis for the algorithm used to analyze all TOMS data and has gone through a lengthly evolutionary process bring it to the current version.The Version 7 processed data include a revised instrument calibration based on analysis of the entire 14.5 year data record (including a correction for a 0.2 nm wavelength error which caused a 3% absolute offset relative to Dobson) as well as an improved algorithm.

    Algorithmic Improvements include:
    use of wavelength “triplets” that correct for errors linear in wavelength
    improved ISCCP cloud height climatology, higher resolution terrain height maps
    use of improved profile shape selection to improve total ozone at very large solar zenith angles
    use of a more accurate model for partially-clouded scenes
    improved radiative transfer calculations for table generation”

    http://toms.gsfc.nasa.gov/n7toms/n7sat.html

    NASA Ozone Data Source:
    The data for 1979–1993 are from the TOMS instrument on the NASA/NOAA Nimbus-7 satellite.
    The data for this 1993–1994 are from the TOMS instrument on the Soviet-built Meteor-3 satellite.
    The data for 1996–October 2004 are from the NASA Earth Probe TOMS satellite.
    The data for November 2004–2011 are from the OMI instrument (KNMI / NASA) onboard the Aura satellite. They are the OMTO3 that have beene processed in a manner similar to the TOMS data from earlier years.

    The ozone minimum is determined only from data actually contained in the processed satellite data. To calculate the ozone hole area and mass deficit, we fill in missing areas (bad orbits and polar night) from an atmospheric model. MERRA is a NASA reanalysis for the satellite era using a major new version of the Goddard Earth Observing System Data Assimilation System Version 5 (GEOS-5). The Project focuses on historical analyses of the hydrological cycle on a broad range of weather and climate time scales and places the NASA EOS suite of observations in a climate context. Since these data are from a reanalysis, they are not up-to-date. So, we supplement with the GEOS-5 FP data that are also produced by the GEOS-5 model in near real time.”

    http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/meteorology/ozone_1990_MERRA_SH.html

    I think your instincts are right on, i.e. “long after all other on-board experiments had failed” it produced suspect data, which was then put through “a lengthly evolutionary process” that includes “revised instrument calibration”, “including a correction for a 0.2 nm wavelength error”, “as well as an improved algorithm” that included “a more accurate model for partially-clouded scenes” and “to calculate ozone hole area and mass deficit” they “fill in missing areas (bad orbits and polar night) from an atmospheric model.” The “Ozone Hole” data before 1996 seems very suspect and deserves further research and scrutiny…

  147. “08-15-2007
    Corrected Earth Probe Data
    correction basis: NOAA-16 SBUV/2 ozone
    time period: August 1996 – December 13, 2005
    data products corrected: ozone, reflectivity

    By mid-2000, the Earth Probe (EP) TOMS instrument degradation became so large that standard correction procedures could no longer produce accurate ozone. The problem is believed to be inhomogeneous degradation of the scanner mirror on TOMS that results in a calibration error that is different at different latitudes. We have warned users that the production EP ozone data should NOT be used for trend analysis.

    We have now applied a correction to the Earth Probe data that stabilizes the EP ozone record. This empirical correction is based on the NOAA-16 SBUV/2 ozone record, with a solar zenith angle dependence that accounts for much of the spurious latitude dependence observed in the current data. Only the ozone and reflectivity records have been corrected. The aerosol index data and SO2 records are more complex and have not been corrected by this empirical correction.

    Comparison with the ground network shows that the resulting ozone is stable within ± 1% over the 1996-2005 period. In the period 2002-2005 in the northern hemisphere, there is a residual seasonally-dependent error of ± 1.5% magnitude. These data should still NOT be used as a source for trend analysis since they are no longer independent.

    http://ozoneaq.gsfc.nasa.gov/news.md

    It seems like the TOMS instrument has a history of issues.

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