University of Oulu

Szela̧g, M.E., Marsh, D.R., Verronen, P.T. et al. Ozone impact from solar energetic particles cools the polar stratosphere. Nat Commun 13, 6883 (2022).

Ozone impact from solar energetic particles cools the polar stratosphere

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Author: Szela̧g, Monika E.1; Marsh, Daniel R.2,3; Verronen, Pekka T.1,4;
Organizations: 1Space and Earth Observation Centre, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Helsinki, Finland
2Climate and Global Dynamics Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO, USA
3Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
4Sodankylä Geophysical Obser- vatory, University of Oulu, Sodankylä, Finland
5Department of Physics, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2023-06-02


Understanding atmospheric impacts of solar energetic particle precipitation (EPP) remains challenging, from quantification of the response in ozone, to implications on temperature. Both are necessary to understand links between EPP and regional climate variability. Here we use a chemistry-climate model to assess the importance of EPP on late winter/spring polar stratosphere. In transient simulations, the impact on NOy, ozone, and temperature is underestimated when using EPP forcing from the current recommendation of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP6). The resulting temperature response is largely masked by overall dynamical variability. An idealised experiment with EPP forcing that reproduces observed levels of NOy results in a significant reduction of ozone (up to 25%), cooling the stratosphere (up to 3 K) during late winter/spring. Our results unravel the inconsistency regarding the temperature response to EPP-driven springtime ozone decrease, and highlight the need for an improved EPP forcing in climate simulations.

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Series: Nature communications
ISSN: 2041-1723
ISSN-E: 2041-1723
ISSN-L: 2041-1723
Volume: 13
Issue: 1
Article number: 6883
DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-34666-y
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 115 Astronomy and space science
Funding: The work of M.E.A., P.T.V., and N.K. was supported by the Academy of Finland through the project #335555 (ICT-SUNVAC). D.R.M. was supported in part by NASA grant NNX12AD04G. The National Center for Atmospheric Research is operated by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship of the National Science Foundation.
Dataset Reference: The processed model data used in this study are available on Zenodo (
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