Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 5, 12103-12117, 2005
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This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP). Please refer to the corresponding final paper in ACP.
Large decadal scale changes of polar ozone suggest solar influence
B.-M. Sinnhuber1, P. von der Gathen2, M. Sinnhuber1, M. Rex2, G. König-Langlo3, and S. J. Oltmans4
1Institute of Environmental Physics, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
2Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Research Unit Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany
3Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Bremerhaven, Germany
4NOAA Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory, Boulder, Colorado, USA

Abstract. Long-term measurements of Arctic ozone show an unexpectedly large decadal scale variability in the mid-stratosphere during winter. Negative ozone anomalies are strongly correlated with the flux of energetic electrons in the radiation belt, which is modulated by the 11-year solar cycle. The magnitude of the observed decadal ozone changes (≈20%) is much larger than any previously reported solar cycle effect in the atmosphere up to this altitude. The early-winter ozone anomalies subsequently propagate downward into the lower stratosphere and may even influence total ozone and meteorological conditions during spring. These findings suggest a previously unrecognized mechanism by which solar variability impacts on climate through changes in polar ozone.

Citation: Sinnhuber, B.-M., von der Gathen, P., Sinnhuber, M., Rex, M., König-Langlo, G., and Oltmans, S. J.: Large decadal scale changes of polar ozone suggest solar influence, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., 5, 12103-12117, doi:10.5194/acpd-5-12103-2005, 2005.
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