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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-585
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
14 Jul 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP).
Detectability of the Impacts of Ozone Depleting Substances and Greenhouse Gases upon Stratospheric Ozone Accounting for Nonlinearities in Historical Forcings
Justin Bandoro1, Susan Solomon1, Benajmin D. Santer2, Douglas E. Kinnison3, and Michael J. Mills3 1Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139
2Program for Climate Model Diagnosis and Intercomparison (PCMDI), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA 94550
3Atmospheric Chemistry Observations and Modeling Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO 80307
Abstract. We perform a formal attribution study of upper and lower stratospheric ozone changes using observations together with simulations from the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model. Historical model simulations were used to estimate the zonal-mean response patterns (fingerprints) to combined forcing by ozone depleting substances (ODS) and well-mixed greenhouse gases (GHG), as well as to the individual forcing by each factor. Trends in the similarity between the searched-for fingerprints and homogenized observations of stratospheric ozone were compared to trends in pattern similarity between the fingerprints and the internally and naturally generated variability inferred from long control runs. This yields estimated signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios for each of the three fingerprints (ODS, GHG, and ODS+GHG). In both the upper stratosphere (defined in this paper as 1 to 10 hPa) and lower stratosphere (40 to 100 hPa), the spatial fingerprints of the ODS+GHG and ODS only patterns were consistently detectable not only during the era of maximum ozone depletion, but also throughout the observational record (1984–2016). Furthermore, we develop a fingerprint attribution method to account for forcings whose time evolutions are markedly nonlinear over the observational record. When the nonlinearity of the time evolution of the ODS and ODS+GHG signals are used in the trend regression, we find that the S/N ratios obtained with the stratospheric ODS and ODS+GHG fingerprints are enhanced relative to standard linear trend analysis. With this method, the complete observational record can be used in the S/N analysis, without applying piece-wise linear regression and introducing arbitrary break points. The GHG-driven fingerprint of ozone changes was not statistically identifiable in the either the upper or lower stratospheric SWOOSH data, irrespective of the method used. Use of the nonlinear signal method, instead of directly operating on ozone trends, also reduces the detection time – the estimate of the date at which ODS and GHG impacts on ozone can be formally identified. In the WACCM future simulations, the GHG signal is statistically identifiable between 2020–2030. Our findings demonstrate the importance of continued stratospheric ozone monitoring to improve estimates of the contributions of ODS and GHG forcing to global changes in stratospheric ozone.

Citation: Bandoro, J., Solomon, S., Santer, B. D., Kinnison, D. E., and Mills, M. J.: Detectability of the Impacts of Ozone Depleting Substances and Greenhouse Gases upon Stratospheric Ozone Accounting for Nonlinearities in Historical Forcings, Atmos. Chem. Phys. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/acp-2017-585, in review, 2017.
Justin Bandoro et al.
Justin Bandoro et al.
Justin Bandoro et al.

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Short summary
We studied the attribution of stratospheric ozone changes and identified similarities between observations and the spatial fingerprints of both ODS and GHG emissions by comparing the standard linear method to our developed nonlinear signal method. Use of the latter resulted in increased S/N ratios for the ODS fingerprint and reduces time of detection. The GHG fingerprint was not identifiable. This method is suitable for attribution problems where the climate forcing has nonlinear time evolution.
We studied the attribution of stratospheric ozone changes and identified similarities between...
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