Articles | Volume 26, issue 5
28 May 2008
 | 28 May 2008

Longitude-dependent decadal ozone changes and ozone trends in boreal winter months during 1960–2000

D. H. W. Peters, A. Gabriel, and G. Entzian

Abstract. This study examines the longitude-dependent decadal changes and trends of ozone for the boreal winter months during the period of 1960–2000. These changes are caused primarily by changes in the planetary wave structure in the upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. The decadal changes and trends over 4 decades of geopotential perturbations, defined as a deviation from the zonal mean, are estimated by linear regression with time. The decadal changes in longitude-dependent ozone were calculated with a simple transport model of ozone based on the known planetary wave structure changes and prescribed zonal mean ozone gradients.

For December of the 1960s and 1980s a statistically significant Rossby wave track appeared over the North Atlantic and Europe with an anticyclonic disturbance over the Eastern North Atlantic and Western Europe, flanked by cyclonic disturbances. In the 1970s and 1990s statistically significant cyclonic disturbances appeared over the Eastern North Atlantic and Europe, surrounded by anticyclonic anomalies over Northern Africa, Central Asia and Greenland. Similar patterns have been found for January. The Rossby wave track over the North Atlantic and Europe is stronger in the 1980s than in the 1960s. For February, the variability of the regression patterns is higher. For January we found a strong alteration in the modelled decadal changes in total ozone over Central and Northern Europe, showing a decrease of about 15 DU in the 1960s and 1980s and an increase of about 10 DU in the 1970s and 1990s.

Over Central Europe the positive geopotential height trend (increase of 2.3 m/yr) over 40 years is of the same order (about 100 m) as the increase in the 1980s alone. This is important to recognize because it implies a total ozone decrease over Europe of the order of 14 DU for the 1960–2000 period, for January, if we use the standard change regression relation that about a 10-m geopotential height increase at 300 hPa is related to about a 1.4-DU total ozone decrease.