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G. Chiodo, L. M. Polvani, D. R. Marsh, A. Stenke, W. Ball, E. Rozanov, S. Muthers, and K. Tsigaridis

Abstract

An accurate quantification of the stratospheric ozone feedback in climate change simulations requires knowledge of the ozone response to increased greenhouse gases. Here, an analysis is presented of the ozone layer response to an abrupt quadrupling of CO2 concentrations in four chemistry–climate models. The authors show that increased CO2 levels lead to a decrease in ozone concentrations in the tropical lower stratosphere, and an increase over the high latitudes and throughout the upper stratosphere. This pattern is robust across all models examined here, although important intermodel differences in the magnitude of the response are found. As a result of the cancellation between the upper- and lower-stratospheric ozone, the total column ozone response in the tropics is small, and appears to be model dependent. A substantial portion of the spread in the tropical column ozone is tied to intermodel spread in upwelling. The high-latitude ozone response is strongly seasonally dependent, and shows increases peaking in late winter and spring of each hemisphere, with prominent longitudinal asymmetries. The range of ozone responses to CO2 reported in this paper has the potential to induce significant radiative and dynamical effects on the simulated climate. Hence, these results highlight the need of using an ozone dataset consistent with CO2 forcing in models involved in climate sensitivity studies.

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