Journal or chapter

Attribution of Stratospheric and Tropospheric Ozone Changes Between 1850 and 2014 in CMIP6 Models

JGR: Atmospheres (2022)

Overhead ozone absorbs harmful solar ultraviolet light, protecting life on Earth. Due to human activities since the nineteenth century, emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) containing chlorine and bromine have profoundly affected stratospheric ozone. Near the Earth’ surface, ozone has increased substantially leading to worsening air quality. In this study, we use Earth system models to interactively assess the roles of ODSs, ozone-forming pollutants, and GHGs including methane, carbon dioxide (CO2), and nitrous oxide (N2O) on ozone changes from the surface to the upper stratosphere. Whilst substantial reductions in stratospheric ozone due to ODSs occurred since the 1970s, the lower-atmospheric ozone increases due to anthropogenic pollution have counteracted this decrease. Increases in GHGs lead to various positive and negative effects on stratospheric ozone in different regions, and their impacts vary with ODS levels in the atmosphere. Amongst the GHGs assessed here, the increase in methane leads to overwhelming positive trends in both stratospheric and tropospheric ozone through mainly chemical effects. The impact of changes in N2O and CO2 on total column ozone is more uncertain due to large inter-model differences, although their overall impact is small during the simulation period


Modelling climate change in the southern hemisphere