Affordable Access

Access to the full text

Stratospheric ozone: down and up through the anthropocene

Authors
  • Langematz, Ulrike
Type
Published Article
Journal
ChemTexts
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Publication Date
Apr 23, 2019
Volume
5
Issue
2
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s40828-019-0082-7
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The stratospheric ozone layer protects life on Earth by absorbing harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. The spatial and temporal distribution of stratospheric ozone is determined by chemical and dynamical processes. Maximum ozone mixing ratios are found in the tropical middle stratosphere as the result of photochemical processes involving oxygen. From its tropical production region ozone is then transported to higher latitudes by the meridional circulation. In addition, ozone is destroyed in catalytic chemical cycles involving reactive, so-called ozone depleting substances (ODSs). These ODSs include chlorine, bromine, hydrogen and nitrogen compounds from source gases emitted at Earth’s surface by industry and transported into the stratosphere. With increasing production and consumption of ODSs since the 1970s stratospheric ozone began to decline globally. Due to a combination of cold meteorological conditions and specific chemical reactions, the ozone hole developed over Antarctica each springtime since the early 1980s. In a tremendous effort, scientists, politicians and industry managers responded to this threat to the ozone layer. In 1987, the Montreal Protocol was accepted by the member states of the United Nations. The regulations of ODSs defined by the Montreal Protocol and its Amendments and adjustments ultimately led to a turning point of ozone depletion and a slow recovery of stratospheric ozone since the 2000s. This article provides the background of ozone chemistry and dynamics and reviews anthropogenic ozone depletion in the past as well as recent model projections of future ozone recovery and its interaction with climate change.

Report this publication

Statistics

Seen <100 times