As a result of the 1987 Montreal Protocol and its amendments, the atmospheric loading of anthropogenic ozone-depleting substances is decreasing. Accordingly, the stratospheric ozone layer is expected to recover. However, short data records and atmospheric variability confound the search for early signs of recovery, and climate change is masking ozone recovery from ozone-depleting substances in some regions and will increasingly affect the extent of recovery. Here we discuss the nature and timescales of ozone recovery, and explore the extent to which it can be currently detected in different atmospheric regions.
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We thank J. Pyle and P. Newman for comments on this work; A. Schmidt for comments on an early version of the manuscript; E. Fleming for providing Fig. 6; and W. Feng for help with TOMCAT. The TOMCAT modelling work was supported by the NERC National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and the simulations were performed on the Archer and Leeds ARC/N8 computers. M.P.C. acknowledges support of a Royal Society Wolfson Merit Award. M.W. acknowledges partial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) Research Unit SHARP (Stratospheric Change and its Role for Climate Prediction) and the ESA CCI-Ozone project. R.T. acknowledges funding by the LABEX L-IPSL project (grant ANR-10-LABX-18-01). S.B. and N.R.P.H. were partially supported by the European project StratoClim (603557 under programme FP7-ENV.2013.6.1-2). N.R.P.H. also acknowledges support from NERC CAST (NE/I030051/1).
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
Reviewer Information Nature thanks M. Santee and the other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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Chipperfield, M., Bekki, S., Dhomse, S. et al. Detecting recovery of the stratospheric ozone layer. Nature 549, 211–218 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature23681
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