Dynamics, stratospheric ozone, and climate change
Shepherd, T. G. (2008) Dynamics, stratospheric ozone, and climate change. Atmosphere-Ocean, 46 (1). pp. 117-138. ISSN 1480-9214
To link to this item DOI: 10.3137/ao.460106
Dynamics affects the distribution and abundance of stratospheric ozone directly through transport of ozone itself and indirectly through its effect on ozone chemistry via temperature and transport of other chemical species. Dynamical processes must be considered in order to understand past ozone changes, especially in the northern hemisphere where there appears to be significant low-frequency variability which can look “trend-like” on decadal time scales. A major challenge is to quantify the predictable, or deterministic, component of past ozone changes. Over the coming century, changes in climate will affect the expected recovery of ozone. For policy reasons it is important to be able to distinguish and separately attribute the effects of ozone-depleting substances and greenhouse gases on both ozone and climate. While the radiative-chemical effects can be relatively easily identified, this is not so evident for dynamics — yet dynamical changes (e.g., changes in the Brewer-Dobson circulation) could have a first-order effect on ozone over particular regions. Understanding the predictability and robustness of such dynamical changes represents another major challenge. Chemistry-climate models have recently emerged as useful tools for addressing these questions, as they provide a self-consistent representation of dynamical aspects of climate and their coupling to ozone chemistry. We can expect such models to play an increasingly central role in the study of ozone and climate in the future, analogous to the central role of global climate models in the study of tropospheric climate change.