NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
header

Aura MLS observations of unprecedented 2011 Arctic ozone loss

Unusually prolonged cold conditions in the spring 2011 Arctic stratosphere promoted levels of chlorine activation and chemical ozone loss never before observed in the Arctic, comparable to those in the Antarctic in some winters


Aura Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) observations of Arctic vortex average chlorine monoxide (ClO) and ozone (O3) at about 18km altitude in 2010/2011 (red) compared to 2004/2005 (blue), the 20042010 envelope (pale grey) and UARS MLS for 1996/1997 (purple triangles). Darker grey shading shows the comparable record for the Antarctic (shifted by six months, top axis). Maps compare selected days in the Arctic (left) to equivalent days in the Antarctic (right). White lines show the polar vortex (the region within which ozone destruction is confined).


Feature Released 09.30.2011

Credit : Manney et al., Nature, 2011