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https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-273
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2020-273
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  12 May 2020

12 May 2020

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A revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal ACP.

Is there a direct solar proton impact on lower stratospheric ozone?

Jia Jia1, Antti Kero1, Niilo Kalakoski2, Monika E. Szeląg2, and Pekka T. Verronen1,2 Jia Jia et al.
  • 1Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory, University of Oulu, Sodankylä, Finland
  • 2Space and Earth Observation Centre, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland

Abstract. We investigate Arctic polar atmospheric ozone responses to Solar Proton Events (SPEs) using MLS satellite measurements (2004–now) and WACCM-D simulations (1989–2012). Special focus is on lower stratospheric ozone depletion that has been proposed earlier based on superposed epoch analysis of ozonesonde anomalies (up to 10 % ozone decrease). Superposed Epoch Analysis (SEA) of the satellite dataset provides no evidence of any average SPE impact on the lower stratospheric ozone, although at the mesospheric altitudes a statistically significant ozone depletion is present. In the individual case studies, we find only one potential case (January 2005) in which the lower stratospheric ozone level was significantly decreased after the SPE onset. However, similar decreases could not be identified in other SPEs of similar or larger magnitude. We find a very good overall consistency between SPE-driven ozone anomalies derived from the WACCM-D model simulations and the Aura MLS data. The simulation results before the Aura MLS era indicate no significant effect on the lower stratospheric ozone either. As a conclusion, the SPE has a zero direct impact on the lower stratospheric ozone.

Jia Jia et al.

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Latest update: 24 Sep 2020
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Short summary
Recent studies have reported up to 10 % average decrease of lower stratospheric ozone at 20 km altitude following solar proton events (SPE). Our study uses 49 events that occurred after the launch of Aura MLS (July 2004–now) and 177 events that occurred in WACCM-D simulation period (Jan 1989–Dec 2012) to evaluate ozone changes following SPEs. The statistical and case-to-case studies show no evidence on SPE's direct impact on the lower stratospheric ozone.
Recent studies have reported up to 10 % average decrease of lower stratospheric ozone at 20 km...
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