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Ozone stops declining while climate warms

What the science says...

Multiple satellite measurements and ground-based observations have determined the ozone layer has stopped declining since 1995 while temperature trends continue upwards.

Climate Myth...

It's ozone

The Ozone Layer stops UV radiation from entering our atmosphere. As the ozone layer has been declining in recent decades, that may be causing global warming.

Multiple satellite measurements and ground-based observations have determined the ozone layer has stopped declining since 1995 (Yang et al. 2006) while temperature trends continue upwards.

Antarctic ozone hole minimum
Figure 1: Antarctic ozone minimum (Atmoz).

Last updated on 4 November 2016 by John Cook. View Archives

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Comments 1 to 13:

  1. This is another case of folks expecting everything to be simultaneous. Since temperature is a reflection primarily of ACCUMULATED joules in the oceans and planet, leading to a buildup of water vapour in the air, there is no reason to ever suspect that the peak of anything else would match to the hour the peak of temperature. Ozone is thought to be a strong greenhouse gas. But thats far less relevant then its blocking potential for UV since that affects joules punched directly into the oceans. So if industrial chemicals were destroying ozone there is the very real potential for less ozone to account for part of the alleged 1978-2000 divergence between solar irradiation trends and global temperatures.
  2. A decline in ozone levels has a direct effect on the removal mechanism of methane from the atmosphere. Ozone is split by UV and the O atom combines with H to form hydroxyl radical OH. Methane reacts with the hydroxyl radical producing a methyl radical which bonds with another hydroxyl radical to produce formaldehyde. Formaldehyde reacts with hydroxyl radicals forming carbon dioxide and water vapor. You could summarise the reactions into: (3)CH4 + (4)O3 = (3)CO2 + (6)H2O Oxidation of methane is the main source of water vapor in the upper stratosphere
  3. „while temperature trends continue upwards” - I don’t see it. And I looking in: the 1996-2008 period ( see for example GISS , HadCRUT, UAH_MSU and RSS_MSU - cumulative seasonal differences temperature. The trends is reverse, not upwards, but same decreased or = 0, ± as exactly the ozone trend. All arguments for “It's the ozone…” are on: About UV radiation on the Earth surface, decide a ozone concentration with lover stratosphere, so temperature in this layer ( - it’s same different than above-mentioned Figure).
  4. Nice. I asked everyone to give me the latest ozone graph and nobody says anything. Then I find it here on same site! Did you notice the upward trend since 1998? We or on the road back up the hill - but true - it is going slowly.Unfortunately the damage done by the CFC's must not be underestimated. But we are going up. I am confident that this will result in more of the sun's radiation being blocked. The CO2 going up will also help!~
  5. The second link (to science.nasa) for the quoted JGR paper works no more, its abstract is here. A fully accessible link to the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2006 might replace it - or directly its Questions and Answers (2 MB). Re#3: For rising temperatures see e.g. here.
    Response: I've updated the broken link, thanks for the heads up.
  6. I wonder how the above chart explains the current ozone hole in the arctic ...

    [DB] Actually, the chart does nothing to explain Arctic ozone holes, as the chart above deals with the Antarctic. :)

    The Arctic ozone hole that formed this winter (2010/2011) was primarily due to prolonged cold in the stratosphere during the long Arctic winter:

    "at some altitudes, the cold period in the Arctic lasted more than 30 days longer in 2011 than in any previously studied Arctic winter, leading to the unprecedented ozone loss"

    This NOAA page does an excellent job differentiating between the Antarctic and Arctic ozone depletions.

    Note that stratospheric cooling is an expected effect of AGW...

  7. OK - so it's the cold rather than a drop in CFCs? Or, maybe it's due to the cold, period(?).
  8. Shibui, The ozone hole is a result of both the cold and CFCs. The abnormally cold stratosphere allows the formation of clouds, which serves as a catalyst for the destruction of ozone. The reaction also requires chlorine, which is supplied by CFCs.
  9. Ian, Thank you. The reason for the colder stratosphere is a somewhat grey area ...
  10. Shibui - Note that a cooling stratosphere is one of the fingerprints of greenhouse gas increases. The troposphere warms, the stratosphere cools, as heat is increasingly kept lower in the atmosphere. A cooling stratosphere is entirely expected given current forcings.
  11. KR - Yes. Science of Doom concurs, but only just :)...
  12. Shibui, The reason for the colder stratosphere is a somewhat grey area ... The abnormally cold arctic stratosphere this spring is attributed to a lack of polar vortex disruption (which is turn is a result of weak planetary waves). The strong vortex keeps the arctic stratospheric air isolated, allowing it to cool sufficiently to form clouds. As the stratosphere continues to cool due to an increase in green house gas, it'll be interesting to see if this occurs more frequently.
  13. Recommended supplemnental reading:

    Closing the Ozone Hole Helped Slow Arctic Warming by Chelsea Harvey, E&E News/Scientific American, Jan 22, 2020

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