The Future of the Stratosphere and the Ozone Layer

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 2:25 PM
Paul A. Newman1, Luke Oman2, Steven Pawson3, Eric L Fleming3, Feng Li4 and Charles H Jackman3, (1)NASA GSFC, Code 610, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (2)NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (3)NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD, United States, (4)Goddard Earth Science Technology and Research, Greenbelt, MD, United States
Stratospheric ozone has been slightly depleted (2-4 % globally) by emissions of ozone depleting substances (ODSs). The landmark 1987 Montreal Protocol led to the end of most these ODS emissions, and total levels of ODSs have been declining since the late 1990s. The interim replacements for these ODSs were hydroclorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), but these HCFCs have also now been regulated. The period in which stratospheric change has been dominated by CFC-induced ozone loss (the “CFC era”) is now coming to an end, as a period begins when the impacts of stratospheric circulation and chemistry changes induced by Greenhouse Gas increases (the “GHG era”).

The stratosphere GHG-era will be characterized by continued decreases of ODSs and increases of CO2, N2O, and CH4. In this talk, we will describe how these factors will modify stratospheric ozone levels and the basic stratospheric climatology: CO2 and CH4 increases will increase stratospheric ozone, while N2O increases will decrease stratospheric ozone. In particular, GHG increases and the associated warming of the troposphere will modify stratospheric transport and cool the upper stratosphere. We will quantitatively show the contributions by various GHGs to these changes and the specifics of the chemical, dynamical, and radiative changes. Further, we will show how the stratosphere evolves under future GHG projections from the various Representative Concentration Pathways, illustrating the different changes in stratospheric ozone caused by the concurrent radiative, chemical and dynamical impacts of GHG changes.