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Ozone loss in the Arctic polar vortex inferred from high-altitude aircraft measurements

Abstract

The Arctic polar vortex in winter is known to be chemically primed for ozone depletion, yet it does not exhibit the large seasonal ozone decrease that characterizes its southern counterpart. This difference may be due in part to a net flux of ozone-rich air through the Arctic vortex, which can mask ozone loss. But by using a chemically con-served tracer as a reference, significant ozone loss can be identified. This loss is found to be correlated with high levels of chlorine monoxide, suggesting that much of the decrease in ozone is caused by anthropogenic emissions of chlorofluorocarbons.

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Proffitt, M., Margitan, J., Kelly, K. et al. Ozone loss in the Arctic polar vortex inferred from high-altitude aircraft measurements. Nature 347, 31–36 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1038/347031a0

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