IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis Future Changes in Stratospheric Ozone

The evolution of stratospheric ozone over the next few decades will depend on natural, including solar and volcanic activity (e.g., Steinbrecht et al., 2004; Dameris et al., 2005), and human-caused factors such as stratospheric halogen loading, which is expected to decrease over future decades (WMO, 2003; IPCC/TEAP, 2005). The evolution of ozone will also depend on changes in many stratospheric constituents: it is expected that the reduction of ozone-depleting substances in the 21st century will cause ozone to increase via chemical processes (Austin et al., 2003). However, this increase could be strongly affected by temperature changes (due to LLGHGs), other chemical changes (e.g., due to water vapour) and transport changes. Coupled Chemistry-Climate Models (CCMs) provide tools to simulate future atmospheric composition and climate. For this purpose, a set of consistent model forcings has been prescribed as part of the CCM Validation Activity for Stratospheric Processes and their Role in Climate (SPARC CCMVal; Eyring et al., 2005). Forcings include natural and anthropogenic emissions based on existing scenarios, atmospheric observations and the Kyoto and Montreal Protocols and Amendments. The simulations follow the IPCC SRES scenario A1B (IPCC, 2000) and changes in halocarbons as prescribed in Table 4B-2 of WMO (2003). Figure 7.18 shows the late winter minimum total column ozone poleward of 60° for various transient CCM reference simulations compared with observations. Antarctic ozone follows mainly the behaviour of Cl and bromine in the models. The peak depletion simulated by the CCMs occurs around the year 2000 followed by a slow increase with minimum values remaining constant between 2000 and 2010 in many models. Most models predict that antarctic ozone amounts will increase to 1980 values close to the time when modelled halogen amounts decrease to 1980 values, lagging the recovery in mid-latitudes due to the delay associated with transport of stratospheric air to polar regions. The late return to pre-1980 values by about 2065 in the Atmospheric Model with Transport and Chemistry (AMTRAC) model (Austin and Wilson, 2006) is consistent with an empirical model study based on observations (Newman et al., 2006). Moreover, increased atmospheric fluxes of CFCs have recently been reported (Hurst et al., 2006), which may point to a still later recovery. The CCMs do not predict consistent values for minimum arctic column ozone, with some models showing large discrepancies with observations. In all CCMs that have been run long enough, arctic ozone increases to 1980 values before antarctic ozone does, by as much as 30 years (e.g., Austin and Wilson 2006). This delay in the Antarctic arises from an increased Brewer-Dobson circulation (Butchart and Scaife, 2001; Butchart et al., 2006) combined with a reduction in stratospheric temperatures.

Figure 7.18

Figure 7.18. (a) Minimum arctic total column ozone for March to April and (b) minimum antarctic total column ozone for September to October (both poleward of 60°) in Dobson Units (DU). Simulations of future evolution of ozone were performed by 11 CCMs analysed as part of the CCM Validation Activity for SPARC (http://www.pa.op.dlr.de/CCMVal/). Model results are compared with values calculated from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) assimilated total column ozone database shown as black dots (Bodeker et al., 2005). The light grey shading between 2060 and 2070 shows the period when halogen amounts in the polar lower stratosphere are expected to return to 1980 values. Models include AMTRAC: Atmospheric Model with Transport and Chemistry; CCSRNIES: Center for Climate System Research - National Institute for Environmental Studies; CMAM: Canadian Middle Atmosphere Model; E39C: German Aerospace Center (DLR) version of ECHAM4 with chemistry and 39 levels; GEOSCCM: Goddard Earth Observing System Chemistry-Climate Model; MAECHAM4/CHEM: Middle Atmosphere ECHAM4 with Chemistry; MRI: Meteorological Research Institute; SOCOL: Solar Climate Ozone Links; ULAQ: University of L’Aquila; UMSLIMCAT: Unified Model SLIMCAT; WACCM: Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model.