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Denton, M. H., Kivi, R., Ulich, T., Clilverd, M. A., Rodger, C. J., & von der Gathen, P. (2018). Northern hemisphere stratospheric ozone depletion caused by solar proton events: The role of the polar vortex. Geophysical Research Letters, 45, 2115–2124.

Northern hemisphere stratospheric ozone depletion caused by solar proton events : the role of the polar vortex

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Author: Denton, M. H.1,2; Kivi, R.3; Ulich, T.4;
Organizations: 1New Mexico Consortium, Los Alamos, NM, USA
2Space Science Institute, Boulder, CO, USA
3Arctic Research Centre, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Sodankylä, Finland
4Sodankylä, Geophysical Observatory, Sodankylä, Finland
5British Antarctic Survey (NERC), Cambridge, UK
6Department of Physics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
7Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, Potsdam, Germany
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: American Geophysical Union, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-11-12


Ozonesonde data from four sites are analyzed in relation to 191 solar proton events from 1989 to 2016. Analysis shows ozone depletion (~10–35 km altitude) commencing following the SPEs. Seasonally corrected ozone data demonstrate that depletions occur only in winter/early spring above sites where the northern hemisphere polar vortex (PV) can be present. A rapid reduction in stratospheric ozone is observed with the maximum decrease occurring ~10–20 days after solar proton events. Ozone levels remain depleted in excess of 30 days. No depletion is observed above sites completely outside the PV. No depletion is observed in relation to 191 random epochs at any site at any time of year. Results point to the role of indirect ozone destruction, most likely via the rapid descent of long‐lived NOx species in the PV during the polar winter.

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Series: Geophysical research letters
ISSN: 0094-8276
ISSN-E: 1944-8007
ISSN-L: 0094-8276
Volume: 45
Issue: 4
Pages: 2115 - 2124
DOI: 10.1002/2017GL075966
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: This work was supported at New Mexico Consortium by NASA’s prime contract NAS5-01072. Ozonesonde work at the FMI was supported by the Academy of Finland (grant 140408), an EU Project GAIA-CLIM, the ESA’s Climate Change Initiative program, and the Ozone_cci subproject in particular.
Copyright information: © 2018. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.