Verification of Stratospheric Ozone: News

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16 Sep 2011: International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

Europe monitors the ozone hole day after day, year after year

Today, we are celebrating the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer and the benefits brought about by the Montreal Protocol, 24 years ago.

The stratospheric ozone service of the European GMES-project MACC ( aims at monitoring stratospheric ozone and the chemical substances that destroy it in real time with networks of ground-based instruments, satellites and forecasting centers. MACC delivers daily forecasts of the evolution of the stratospheric ozone layer.

Ozone hole 2011 compared to previous years

MACC is following-up the evolution of the ozone hole year after year, both over the Arctic and over the Antarctic. To illustrate its evolution this year and compare it with previous years, BIRA-IASB has put together an animation showing the amount of ozone day after day during the months of August and September, for the years 2003 till 2011. It is based on the main NRT forecasting system of MACC, IFS-MOZART.

The movie clearly shows the interannual variability: during certain years the ozone hole is already much more evolved at this stage (2005, 2007, 2009), while other years the ozone hole is below average (2004, 2010).

How the ozone hole will further develop during the coming weeks depends, to a large extent, on the meteorological conditions. At this stage, however, it looks like the ozone loss will be about average compared to the last decade: similar to the situation in 2008, the ozone depletion is less advanced than at the same date in 2009, but more advanced than during the exceptionally weak episode last year.

Click on the picture to see the movie at full resolution.