The ongoing narrative of the evolution of the Earth’s ozone layer patterns appears to assert that the vast and sweeping oscillations of this dynamic atmospheric parameter are related exclusively to the emissions of industrial chemicals by mankind. Unlike hundreds if not thousands of researchers*, I find this implausible. I am continuing to explore ozone information because it relates to my own research in solar cycles, global atmospheric moisture, and streamflow forecasting.
It is clear that for many decades, ozone patterns have been explored in relation to some aspects of Hadley-styled global atmospheric circulation, especially with regard to Brewer-Dobson circulation. Somehow, this began to be largely disregarded as the narrative of industrial chemical – induced ozone depletion took hold towards the close of the 20th century.
There is much to relate as I comb through scores of dense resources and integrate with my own growing understanding of atmospheric chemistry coupled with geostrophic circulation patterns. I’m sharing pieces as I advance. This minor note captures a little known fact that relates to a common notion of ozone advance and retreat across the polar regions.
The official narrative relates that over each Spring at each Pole, solar radiation activates industrial-sourced chemicals which somehow hover over the polar regions every winter. The normally inert but now solar-activated industrial chemicals (attributed to be chloroflourocarbons and halons) then proceed to photolytically break down into chlorine and bromine. Those halides then catalyze ozone back into ordinary atmospheric oxygen. Here is an example of this narrative from a government resource, in italics at: http://www.ozonelayer.noaa.gov/science/ozhole.htm
Research conducted during the National Ozone Expeditions to the U.S. McMurdo Station in 1986 and 1987, and NASA stratospheric aircraft flights into the Antarctic region from Chile in 1987 showed conclusively that the ozone loss was related to halogen (chlorine)-catalyzed chemical destruction which takes place following spring sunrise in the Antarctic polar region. The chlorine is derived from manmade chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) which have migrated to the stratosphere and have been broken down by solar ultraviolet light, freeing chlorine atoms.
The ozone hole is formed each year in the Southern Hemisphere spring (September-November) when there is a sharp decline (currently up to 60%) in the total ozone over most of Antarctica. During the cold dark Antarctic winter, stratospheric ice clouds (PSCs, polar stratospheric clouds) form when temperatures drop below -78C. These clouds are responsible for chemical changes that promote production of chemically active chlorine and bromine. When sunlight returns to the Antarctic in the Southern Hemisphere spring, this chlorine and bromine activation leads to rapid ozone loss, which then results in the Antarctic ozone hole. Although some ozone depletion also occurs in the Arctic during the Northern Hemisphere spring (March-May), wintertime temperatures in the Arctic stratosphere are not persistently low for as many weeks which results in less ozone depletion.
The featured image series poses a data-based challenge, if only to the part of the above quote which I have highlighted in bold. Clearly the ozone concentrations above the Arctic are greatest in the winter and lowest in the fall, consistently. In fact both Poles appear to share the same average timing of ozone growth and decline, regardless of their respective seasons. Over Antarctica (not shown in this post, but to be profiled in a later one), September and October months are associated with the lowest ozone concentrations, just as my featured animation indicates for the Arctic.
As mentioned, this is a work in progress for me. I’ve seen intriguing relations between ozone patterns and those of geostrophic moisture circulation, as well as geostrophic geopotential height patterns in a few past posts, including this recent ozone post. I have a feeling that these relations could be key to solving the puzzle of ozone polar synchrony described in the previous paragraph. It’s worth reinforcing my ongoing interest in natural halides such as bromine and chlorine, which are continually spun up into the atmosphere from the inexhaustible circulating oceans. They seem to be a far more plausible source of ozone destruction, if I’m not mistaken. Among the many reasons, I can include the seldom if ever reported observations that ozone concentrations are consistently much lower across the atmospheric moisture-rich Tropics than they are across the Middle Latitudes. Indeed, they are so low that if those concentrations were reported over any of the polar regions, they would qualify as “holes”.
From that perspective, I feel that many of the hundreds to thousands of ozone researchers seem to have much of the ozone evolution story completely backwards. For example, I retrieved this assertion (in italics) from noted ozone researchers as reported by the New York Times:
The data show that the hole in the ozone layer generated high-speed winds that caused sea salt to be swept up into the atmosphere to form moist clouds.
From my view and in accordance with conventional scientific understanding, the natural winds sweep the halide-rich sea salts into the atmosphere. I have posited that these natural halides (as opposed to the minuscule quantities of the man made varieties) engage in wholesale and purely natural ozone destruction. I would venture this pattern has persisted as long as the Earth has had poles and oceans.
In summary, the winds around the oceans likely cause the atmospheric ozone concentrations to diminish (through associated halide upwelling).
The official narrative asserts the reverse; that man-made ozone holes cause the winds to blow.
I have a growing inventory of additional topics and the data to support, which I’ll continue to publish here.
This is a work in progress and includes opinions.
*One relevant report I have acquired was developed by approximately 300 scientific authors.