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Geophysical Monograph Series



  • Stratosphere
  • Whirlwinds
  • Dynamic meteorology
  • ozonehole
  • stratosphere
  • Antarctica
  • ozone
  • ozonedepletion
  • polarvortex

Index Terms

  • 3334 Atmospheric Processes: Middle atmosphere dynamics
  • 3337 Atmospheric Processes: Global climate models



Chemistry and dynamics of the Antarctic Ozone Hole

P. A. Newman

The Antarctic ozone hole is caused by human-produced chlorine and bromine compounds. The unique cold conditions of the Antarctic lower stratosphere in winter and spring allow for the development of polar stratospheric clouds. Chemical reactions on these stratospheric cloud particle surfaces (heterogeneous chemistry) release chlorine from reservoir species into highly reactive species that are easily photolyzed. Chlorine and bromine catalytic cycles result in massive ozone depletion during August and September. By early October, ozone is completely destroyed in the lower stratosphere over Antarctica. The amount of total ozone began a downward trend in the 1970s and stopped in the early 1990s. Current models indicate an ozone hole return date around 2067.

Citation: Newman, P. A. (2010), Chemistry and dynamics of the Antarctic Ozone Hole, in The Stratosphere: Dynamics, Transport, and Chemistry, Geophys. Monogr. Ser., vol. 190, edited by L. M. Polvani, A. H. Sobel, and D. W. Waugh, pp. 157–171, AGU, Washington, D. C., doi:10.1029/2009GM000873.

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