Distinguishing the impacts of ozone and ozone-depleting substances on the recent increase in Antarctic surface mass balance

Chemke, Rei; Previdi, Michael; England, Mark R.; Polvani, Lorenzo M.

The Antarctic surface mass balance (SMB) has global climatic impacts through its effects on global sea-level rise. The forced increase in Antarctic SMB over the second half of the 20th century was argued to stem from multiple forcing agents, including ozone and ozone-depleting substances (ODSs). Here we use ensembles of fixed-forcing model simulations to quantify and contrast the contributions of stratospheric ozone, tropospheric ozone and ODSs to increases in the Antarctic SMB. We show that ODSs and stratospheric ozone make comparable contributions and together account for 44 % of the increase in the annual mean Antarctic SMB over the second half of the 20th century. In contrast, tropospheric ozone has an insignificant impact on the SMB increase. A large portion of the annual mean SMB increase occurs during austral summer, when stratospheric ozone is found to account for 63 % of the increase. Furthermore, we demonstrate that stratospheric ozone increases the SMB by enhancing the meridional mean and eddy flows towards the continent, thus converging more water vapor over the Antarctic.

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Chemke, Rei / Previdi, Michael / England, Mark R. / et al: Distinguishing the impacts of ozone and ozone-depleting substances on the recent increase in Antarctic surface mass balance. 2020. Copernicus Publications.

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