Twisting turning and pulsating of the Antarctic ozone hole, as revealed by TOMS data
Keywords:Antartic ozone hole, TOMS data, Pulsations of ozone hole, Vertical structure
Using data from TOMS!Nimbus7 and Meteor 3, the evolution of Antarctic ozone holes during the southern springs of 1992, 1993, 1994 was studied. At the South Pole, the evolution was mostly smooth, a steady decrease up to about September end and a steady recovery up to about December end. At latitudes near 65° S, the ozone levels (~220 DU) at different latitudes and longitudes showed fluctuations compatible with passing of a noncircular (oval) ! vortex boundary (two ends of a major axis of an ellipse), with a rotation period of -15 days (full rotation period ~30 days) in 1992 and ~17 days (full rotation period ~34 days) in 1994, different from the 2-3 weeks reported by earlier workers. However, the rotation was not with uniform speeds. During a full rotation, the speeds varied sometimes from almost zero (stalling) for a few days to ~20° per day during other intervals. Outside the oval boundary, often there were, depletions with spacings of a few (5-8) days, extending to lower latitudes up to ~30° S, indicating corrugations in the oval boundary, probably due to the effects of synoptic disturbances on total ozone through tropopause pressure changes and/or I ozone mini- holes caused by anticyclonic tropospheric forcing under the southern polar vortex. The shape of the ozone hole changed from elliptic to almost circular and vice versa within a few days and the area also changed by ~15-20%. Thus, the ozone hole was twisting, turning and pulsating, probably due to a varying strength of the wave number 2 component of the wind system prevailing there.
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