On February 7, 2018, the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service or CAMS, has successfully predicted the appearance of an ozone mini-hole over western Canada on February 12 or 13. Sudden stratospheric warmings like the one currently in progress have been shown to precede the formation of these localized ozone depletion events.
Satellite observations acquired on February 12 and 13 data assimilation confirmed predictions made by ECMWF's CAMS, proving its model really works and can accurately predict these kinds of events.
Below is a comparison of the model prediction based 00:00 UTC, February 9 and valid on 03:00 UTC, February 13, of the very short range (3 hour) forecast from the model analysis relying on several satellite observations from February 12 and valid for February 13, 03:00 UTC and of measurements from the OMI satellite instrument on February 13.
Ozone mini-holes at high northern latitudes are relatively rare as the topography of the continents surrounding the Arctic generally disrupts the polar vortex and prevents the formation of polar stratospheric clouds involved in the chemical reactions that produce chlorine atoms, which are responsible for fast ozone depletion in the mini-holes.
"Our forecast shows that this mini ozone hole will probably persist for a few more days and maybe shift a little towards the East or into the U.S. but it will eventually dissipate," says Mark Parrington, senior scientist for CAMS.
Sudden stratospheric warmings have been shown to precede the formation of these localized ozone depletion events.
Featured image: Mini ozone hole appears over western Canada. Credit: ECMWF/Copernicus
Register/become a supporter
Your support is crucial for our survival. It makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.
You'll receive your ad-free account for 20x faster browsing experience, clean interface without any distractions, ability to post comments without prior editorial check, all our desktop and mobile applications (current and upcoming) ad-free and with the full set of features available, a direct line of communication and much more. See all options.