1Science and Technology Branch, Environment Canada, 4905 Dufferin Street, Downsview, Ontario, M3H 5T3, Canada
2Department of Geography and Program in Planning, University of Toronto, 100 St. George Street, Toronto, Ontario, M5S 3G3, Canada
3Nanjing University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210093, China
4Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology, Nanjing, Jiangsu, 210044, China
5Universities Space Research Association, and Global Modeling and Assimilation Office, Goddard Space Flight Center, NASA, Greenbelt, MD, USA
6Space Sciences Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley, California, 94720, USA
7Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, Ontario, M3T 1P3, Canada
Abstract. This study explores a domain-filling trajectory approach to generate a global ozone climatology from relatively sparse ozonesonde data. Global ozone soundings comprising 51 898 profiles at 116 stations over 44 yr (1965–2008) are used, from which forward and backward trajectories are calculated from meteorological reanalysis data, to map ozone measurements to other locations and so fill in the spatial domain. The resulting global ozone climatology is archived monthly for five decades from the 1960s to the 2000s on a~grid of 5° × 5° × 1 km (latitude, longitude, and altitude), from the surface to 26 km altitude. It is also archived yearly from 1965 to 2008. The climatology is validated at 20 selected ozonesonde stations by comparing the actual ozone sounding profile with that derived through trajectory mapping of ozone sounding data from all stations except the one being compared. The two sets of profiles are in good agreement, both individually with correlation coefficients (r) between 0.975 and 0.998 and root mean square (RMS) differences of 87 to 482 ppbv, and overall with r = 0.991 and an RMS of 224 ppbv. The ozone climatology is also compared with two sets of satellite data, from the Satellite Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) and the Optical Spectrography and InfraRed Imager System (OSIRIS). The ozone climatology compares well with SAGE and OSIRIS data in both seasonal and zonal means. The mean differences are generally quite small, with maximum differences of 20% above 15 km. The agreement is better in the Northern Hemisphere, where there are more ozonesonde stations, than in the Southern Hemisphere; it is also better in the middle and high latitudes than in the tropics where reanalysis winds are less accurate. This ozone climatology captures known features in the stratosphere, as well as seasonal and decadal variations of these features. Compared to current satellite data, it offers more complete high latitude coverage as well as a much longer record. The climatology shows clearly the depletion of ozone from the 1970s to the mid 1990s and ozone recovery in the lower stratosphere in the 2000s. When this climatology is used as the upper boundary condition in an Environment Canada operational chemical forecast model, the forecast is improved in the vicinity of the upper troposphere–lower stratosphere (UTLS) region. As this ozone climatology is neither dependent on a priori data nor photochemical modeling, it provides independent information and insight that can supplement satellite data and model simulations of stratospheric ozone.