Articles | Volume 10, issue 19
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 9473–9486, 2010
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 9473–9486, 2010

  07 Oct 2010

07 Oct 2010

The potential to narrow uncertainty in projections of stratospheric ozone over the 21st century

A. J. Charlton-Perez1, E. Hawkins1, V. Eyring2, I. Cionni2, G. E. Bodeker3, D. E. Kinnison4, H. Akiyoshi5, S. M. Frith6, R. Garcia4, A. Gettelman4, J. F. Lamarque4, T. Nakamura5, S. Pawson7, Y. Yamashita5, S. Bekki8, P. Braesicke9, M. P. Chipperfield10, S. Dhomse10, M. Marchand8, E. Mancini11, O. Morgenstern12, G. Pitari11, D. Plummer13, J. A. Pyle9, E. Rozanov14,15, J. Scinocca13, K. Shibata16, T. G. Shepherd17, W. Tian10, and D. W. Waugh18 A. J. Charlton-Perez et al.
  • 1University of Reading, Dept. of Meteorology, Reading, UK
  • 2Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt, Institut für Physik der Atmosphäre, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
  • 3Bodeker Scientific, The Elms, Alexandra, New Zealand
  • 4National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
  • 5National Institute for Environmental Studies, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 6Science Systems and Applications, Inc., Lanham MD 20706, USA
  • 7NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, USA
  • 8Service d'Aeronomie, Institut Pierre-Simone Laplace, Paris, France
  • 9University of Cambridge, Department of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK
  • 10University of Leeds, Institute for Atmospheric Science, UK
  • 11Universit� L'Aquila, Dipartimento di Fisica, L'Aquila, Italy
  • 12National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Reasearch, Lauder, New Zealand
  • 13Environment Canada, Victoria, BC, Canada
  • 14Physikalisch-Meteorologisches Observatorium Davos/World Radiation Center, Davos, Switzerland
  • 15Institute for Atmospheric and Climate Science ETH, Zurich, Switzerland
  • 16Meteorological Research Institute, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 17University of Toronto, Department of Physics, Canada
  • 18Johns Hopkins University, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

Abstract. Future stratospheric ozone concentrations will be determined both by changes in the concentration of ozone depleting substances (ODSs) and by changes in stratospheric and tropospheric climate, including those caused by changes in anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHGs). Since future economic development pathways and resultant emissions of GHGs are uncertain, anthropogenic climate change could be a significant source of uncertainty for future projections of stratospheric ozone. In this pilot study, using an "ensemble of opportunity" of chemistry-climate model (CCM) simulations, the contribution of scenario uncertainty from different plausible emissions pathways for ODSs and GHGs to future ozone projections is quantified relative to the contribution from model uncertainty and internal variability of the chemistry-climate system. For both the global, annual mean ozone concentration and for ozone in specific geographical regions, differences between CCMs are the dominant source of uncertainty for the first two-thirds of the 21st century, up-to and after the time when ozone concentrations return to 1980 values. In the last third of the 21st century, dependent upon the set of greenhouse gas scenarios used, scenario uncertainty can be the dominant contributor. This result suggests that investment in chemistry-climate modelling is likely to continue to refine projections of stratospheric ozone and estimates of the return of stratospheric ozone concentrations to pre-1980 levels.

Final-revised paper