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
If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.
Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, select the level of your support and register your account.
Your support makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.
All our supporters can browse the website without ads, allowing much faster speeds and a clean interface. Your comments will be instantly approved and you’ll have a direct line of communication with us from within your account dashboard. You can suggest new features and apps and you’ll be able to use them before they go live.
You can choose the level of your support.
Stay kind, vigilant and ready!