Articles | Volume 9, issue 15
03 Aug 2009
 | 03 Aug 2009

Dynamical modes associated with the Antarctic ozone hole

B. C. Weare

Abstract. Generalized Maximum Covariance Analysis (GMCA) has been developed and applied to diagnosing the dynamical modes associated with variations in the Antarctic spring ozone hole. GMCA is used to identify the most important patterns of co-variability between interannual ozone mixing ratio variations in the Antarctic region and temperature, zonal, meridional and vertical velocities between 100 and 10 hPa in the same region. The most important two pairs of GMCA time coefficients show large year-to-year variations and trends, which are connected with the growth of the Antarctic Ozone Hole and the increase of ozone depleting substances. The associated spatial patterns of ozone variations may be characterized as being quasi-symmetric and asymmetric about the pole. These patterns of ozone variations are associated with comparable patterns of variations of temperature and winds through most of the vertical domain.

The year 2000 is shown to be dominated by the asymmetric mode, whereas the adjacent year 2001 is dominated by the quasi-symmetric mode. A case study, focusing on the asymmetric differences between these two years, shows the magnitude of the ozone mixing ratio, temperature and zonal wind differences to be in the range of 2 e–6 kg/kg, 10°C and 10 m/s, respectively. Budget calculations show that transport processes contribute substantially to the ozone and temperature changes in the middle stratosphere over the Antarctic continent. However, both radiative and chemical processes also play important roles in the changes.

Final-revised paper