Hydroclimatology and Solar Explorations

Climate & Weather Representations, Ozone in the Atmosphere

Total Atmospheric Ozone inversely matches Rio Grande time series

Are anthropogenic chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) the only source of Chlorine in the upper atmosphere?  Is this Chlorine the only cause of Ozone destruction there?  These assertions have been the official Montreal Protocol narrative for a few generations of scientists.   But there are alternate possible reasons for the patterns of Ozone and Chlorine in the upper atmosphere.  Could the circulation of Atmospheric Water have anything, or everything to do with the Chlorine patterns?  It already seems clear to me and perhaps many others, that hydrogeostrophic Water has much to do with Ozone patterns around the planet.

A simple step for this blog would be to eyeball a good Water time signature against a good stratospheric Chlorine time signature.  One might pick any regional or global parameterization to start.  Accordingly the featured image is an overlay of the annual streamflow rate of a southwestern US river, the Rio Grande at Otowi Gage NM (in green), superimposed over the featured Hawaii-upper-atmospheric-reactive-Chlorine (ClO) material from Solomon et al., [1] that Bernie McCune recently shared with me.

The reference includes assertions that high altitude Chlorine is dominantly derived from CFCs.  The reference concludes that the first Chlorine atmospheric temporal inflection to signify the beginning of the end of the Ozone Hole (OH) has been identified.

In comparison from a more Water-grounded alternate conceptual model, I had just posted an article (a draft manuscript?) on Chlorine in a hydrogeostrophic circulation.  Readers of that might conclude that Chlorine could not have come from CFCs, but rather more likely moved with the natural hydrogeostrophic circulation.

From my perspective [3], many Water signatures also happen to follow those circulations, as numerous posts at this site emphasize.  Accordingly I took a look to see if a representative annual streamflow from a Rocky Mountain catchment might also resemble the Chlorine curves of [1].  There appears to be an equivalence.   That would add corroboration to the earlier post’s notion about atmospheric geostrophically circulating Chlorine.

Solomon et al., and MW&A probably would agree on much, but with regard to Chlorine, my disagreements range from the pedigree of upper atmospheric Chlorine to the cause of Ozone destruction.  I’ll continue to try to close in on the multiple hydrogeostrophic chemical and isotopic signature papers to the present day.  In this case I’ve begun to trace the citations to Solomon et al. and can see from otherwise helpful and interesting papers such as [2] that the rudimentary concepts of Water and of Cyclostationarity continue to elude mainstream atmospheric chemists and related.

For example, the Solomon et al. paper claims

“These are the first measurements of a decline in active stratospheric chlorine and they indicate that the affect of the Montreal Protocol and declining total tropospheric chlorine is leading to a decrease in the active stratospheric chlorine actually involved in ozone destruction.”

Among other directions of my interest, I’d like to reconcile this with a recent paper by Weber et al., [2], which by 2018 claims “… since the last World Meteorological Organization (WMO) ozone assessment (2013–2016) shows that for most datasets and regions the trends since the stratospheric halogen reached its maximum ( ∼ 1996 globally and ∼ 2000 in polar regions) are mostly not significantly different from zero. ”

That Weber et al. resource is interesting but as frequent figures like this excerpt suggest, the trends and perhaps the causes are beginning to be seen differently now.

I’m further intent to examine how the total Ozone time series of Weber et al. above compares to those of  Efstathiou et al. [4].   Here is an image from [4] as profiled in a recent post.

It seemed most appropriate for me to compare the top featured green Rio Grande time series  to both the Weber et al. and Efstathiou et al. figure sets directly above.  First Here is an initial overlay to Weber et al., only.

I simply reversed the axis of the Rio Grande time series this time.  Just as Chlorine is attributed, simple Water also can appear to be inversely correlated to Ozone.  I’ve pointed to this many times and one simple explanation may relate to the remarkable ability of Water to dissolve and transform Ozone.  Maybe the Chlorine simply goes where the Water and the air go, and the ozone reacts as any physical chemist or chemical engineer can explain.  But if true, that cannot yet be reconciled with contemporary Ozone atmospheric theory.

So a final image for this is also as usual a preview of work to come as well.  It overlays Efstathiou et al. to the others including the streamflow records from a station in the Upper Rio Grande of New Mexico.

This is only a blog but I think the apparent correlation between that green streamflow record (top panel) and one of those published total ozone records[4, the bold black line in the bottom panel] to be remarkable. Although it is worth noting that the Efstathiou et al. curves were detrended.  Maybe I’ll overlay a detrended Rio Grande curve another time.

Now that I’ve passed through that worthwhile initial comparison, I wonder if any others have noticed media reports that the Ozone Hole is no longer growing.  On the other hand, References 2 and 4 suggest that the total atmospheric Ozone (TOZ) is NO LONGER SHRINKING.  I also infer that it possibly never truly was.  I guess that TOZ was only fluctuating according to natural solar cycles and related moisture circulations that I described in [3].

I started this post by continuing to reflect upon Chlorine in the upper atmosphere.  I think that this reflection challenges the theory that CFCs dominate the sourcing of stratospheric reactive-Chlorine.   I did get sidetracked by the remarkable correlations of Total Ozone to the streamflows of the Upper Rio Grande in New Mexico, so much so that I just adjusted the title of this post.

I have not yet have fulfilled the promotions of the latest title of this post.  Correlation or only the appearance of it, is certainly not causation.  There is more to come about so-called reactive Chlorine in any event.  The evidence of natural sources of reactive Chlorine (ClO) in the stratosphere is easy to find [5].  Chlorine in many modalities both natural and manmade (not only CFCs but others such as the radioisotope Chlorine-36) has inspired and informed our understanding of the hydrologic cycle over generations of scientific advancement.

I am only a nanoplanetary hydrologist by degrees and publication, and I’ve hardly scratched some surfaces at this site.  In a recent paper [3] I continued to establish significant correlations between scores of climate parameters and solar cycles, especially when Water in the air or on the land was involved.  Perhaps the paper was also novel to conclude that solar-driven water circulations and the associated heat transports appear more than up to the task of regulating our planet’s temperature.

Water does this across a heavy spinning planet, by responding immediately to any change in the Solar Irradiance.  It seems that all of the atmospheric heat which is stored (versus transported) can be accounted for not by greenhouse gases, but by Water.  The confirmation record of this is vast if only now in the Satellite records.

Obviously (although not yet widely known) Ozone concentrations also bounce up and down over time in response to the Sunspot numbers.   I’d like to get on the same page with other Ozone researchers who currently disregard Water and largely downplay Solar.  The data above seems to me to say that Solar drives global atmospheric moisture and ozone cycles.  Other data featured at this site suggest that although both rise and fall according to this Sunspot ‘tide’, Water typically “consumes” Ozone where they cross paths.

But don’t take my word for it.  Consider these highlights from Pyle et al.  [6].

That official Montreal Protocol – compatible document identifies this very phenomena via Ozone Mini-Holes caused by very wet storms.  Unfortunately the otherwise informative and interesting reference turns away from Water for the most part.  For example, Water is not included in their list of Ozone Destroying Substances (ODS).

The Montreal Protocol has impacted every one of us.  From the perspective of several posts at this site, there does not appear to be a sufficient observational basis for its alarming claims.  There do appear to be interesting correlations between Ozone and other hydroclimatologic variables.  Much good can come from the information gathering to date, if current researchers could re-embrace the reproducible foundations of water and cyclostationarity.  Then the interesting and nuanced patterns of Chlorine, Ozone, Solar, and Water can fit together like a puzzle for our greater benefit.


[1] (includes the background in the featured figure) Solomon, P., Barrett, J., Mooney, T., Connor, B., Parrish, A., and Siskind, D.E. 2006. Rise and decline of active chlorine in the stratosphere. Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 33, L18807, doi:10.1029/2006GL027029

[2]  Weber, M., Coldewey-Egbers, M., Floetow, V.E. Frith, S.M., Wild, J.D., Burrows, J.P., Long, C.S., and Loyola, D. 2018.  Total ozone trends from 1979 to 2016 derived from five mergedbobservational datasets – the emergence into ozone recovery.  Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.  18,  2097-2117.

[3] Wallace, M.G., 2019, Application of lagged correlations between solar cycles and hydrosphere components towards sub-decadal forecasts of streamflows in the Western US.   Hydrological Sciences Journal, Oxford UK  Volume 64 Issue 2.   doi: 10.1080/02626667.2019.

[4] Efstathiou, M.N. and Varotsos, C.A., 2013. On the 11 year solar cycle signature in global total ozone dynamics.  Meteorological Applications  20.  72-79

[5] Stutz, J. and Ackermann, R.  2002.  Atmospheric reactive chlorine and bromine at the Great Salt Lake, Utah.  Geophysical Research Letters.  Vol. 29.  No. 10.

[6] Pyle, J., Bodeker, G., Canziani, P., Dameris, M., Forster, P., Gruzdev, A., Muller, R., Muthama, J.N., Pitari, G., and Randel, W., UNDATED.  1.  Ozone and Climate: A Review of Interconnections.  IPCCC/TEAP Special Report:  Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and the Global Climate System.

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