Ozone and temperature decadal trends in the stratosphere, mesosphere and lower thermosphere, based on measurements from SABER on TIMED
We have derived ozone and temperature trends from years 2002 through 2012, from 20 to 100 km altitude, and 48° S to 48° N latitude, based on measurements from the Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER) instrument on the Thermosphere, Ionosphere, Mesosphere Energetics and Dynamics (TIMED) satellite. For the first time, trends of ozone and temperature measured at the same times and locations are obtained, and their correlations should provide useful information about the relative importance of photochemistry versus dynamics over the longer term. We are not aware of comparable results covering this time period and spatial extent. For stratospheric ozone, until the late 1990s, previous studies found negative trends (decreasing amounts). In recent years, some empirical and modeling studies have shown the occurrence of a turnaround in the decreasing ozone, possibly beginning in the late 1990s, suggesting that the stratospheric ozone trend is leveling off or even turning positive. Our global results add more definitive evidence, expand the coverage, and show that at mid-latitudes (north and south) in the stratosphere, the ozone trends are indeed positive, with ozone having increased by a few percent from 2002 through 2012. However, in the tropics, we find negative ozone trends between 25 and 50 km. For stratospheric temperatures, the trends are mostly negatively correlated to the ozone trends. The temperature trends are positive in the tropics between 30 and 40 km, and between 20 and 25 km, at approximately 24° N and at 24° S latitude. The stratospheric temperature trends are otherwise mostly negative. In the mesosphere, the ozone trends are mostly flat, with suggestions of small positive trends at lower latitudes. The temperature trends in this region are mostly negative, showing decreases of up to ~ −3 K decade −1. In the lower thermosphere (between ~ 85 and 100 km), ozone and temperature trends are both negative. The ozone trend can approach ~ −10% decade −1, and the temperature trend can approach ~ −3 K decade −1. Aside from trends, these patterns of ozone–temperature correlations are consistent with previous studies of ozone and temperature perturbations such as the quasi-biennial (QBO) and semiannual (SAO) oscillations, and add confidence to the results.