News: News Archives
Climate Change via Ozone Loss
New modeling results may support the idea that ozone loss over Antarctica may be responsible for recent changes in climate at the South Pole, according to a study in the 10 October 2003 issue of Science.
The westerly winds that ring the South Pole have intensified over recent decades. This trend has been accompanied by other climate-related changes in the lowest layer of the atmosphere, the troposphere. Previously, David Thompson and others proposed that these changes have been the result of cooling in the overlying stratosphere, caused by human-induced ozone depletion.
Nathan Gillett and David Thompson tested this hypothesis with a climate model that simulated the effects of the recent stratospheric ozone loss. The simulation matched the observed climate changes, the authors report, indicating that events in the stratosphere can ultimately filter down to influence climate at the Earth's surface.
In a related "Perspective" article, David J. Karoly looks at how the Antarctic trends may be affecting climate elsewhere in the world.
9 October 2003