Articles | Volume 16, issue 5
Research article
04 Mar 2016
Research article |  | 04 Mar 2016

Drivers of changes in stratospheric and tropospheric ozone between year 2000 and 2100

Antara Banerjee, Amanda C. Maycock, Alexander T. Archibald, N. Luke Abraham, Paul Telford, Peter Braesicke, and John A. Pyle

Abstract. A stratosphere-resolving configuration of the Met Office's Unified Model (UM) with the United Kingdom Chemistry and Aerosols (UKCA) scheme is used to investigate the atmospheric response to changes in (a) greenhouse gases and climate, (b) ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) and (c) non-methane ozone precursor emissions. A suite of time-slice experiments show the separate, as well as pairwise, impacts of these perturbations between the years 2000 and 2100. Sensitivity to uncertainties in future greenhouse gases and aerosols is explored through the use of the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 scenarios.

The results highlight an important role for the stratosphere in determining the annual mean tropospheric ozone response, primarily through stratosphere–troposphere exchange (STE) of ozone. Under both climate change and reductions in ODSs, increases in STE offset decreases in net chemical production and act to increase the tropospheric ozone burden. This opposes the effects of projected decreases in ozone precursors through measures to improve air quality, which act to reduce the ozone burden.

The global tropospheric lifetime of ozone (τO3) does not change significantly under climate change at RCP4.5, but it decreases at RCP8.5. This opposes the increases in τO3 simulated under reductions in ODSs and ozone precursor emissions.

The additivity of the changes in ozone is examined by comparing the sum of the responses in the single-forcing experiments to those from equivalent combined-forcing experiments. Whilst the ozone responses to most forcing combinations are found to be approximately additive, non-additive changes are found in both the stratosphere and troposphere when a large climate forcing (RCP8.5) is combined with the effects of ODSs.

Final-revised paper