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The Cryosphere An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-157
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/tc-2020-157
© Author(s) 2020. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

  25 Jun 2020

25 Jun 2020

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This preprint is currently under review for the journal TC.

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

Rei Chemke1, Michael Previdi2, Mark R. England3,4, and Lorenzo M. Polvani1,2 Rei Chemke et al.
  • 1Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA
  • 2Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia University, Palisades, NY 10964, USA
  • 3Department of Climate, Atmospheric Science, and Physical Oceanography, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, LaJolla, CA, USA
  • 4Department of Physics and Physical Oceanography, University of North Carolina Wilmington, NC, USA

Abstract. 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. Here we use ensembles of fixed-forcing model simulations to quantify and contrast the contributions of stratospheric ozone, tropospheric ozone and ozone-depleting substances (ODS) to increases in the Antarctic SMB. We show that ODS 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.

Rei Chemke et al.

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Rei Chemke et al.

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Short summary
It is critical to elucidate the mechanisms behind the increase in Antarctic SMB, as it is projected to mitigate sea-level rise. Here we show that nearly half of the SMB increase over the 20th century is attributed to stratospheric ozone depletion and ozone-depleting substances (ODS) emissions. Our results suggests that the phase out of ODS by the Montreal Protocol, and the recovery of stratospheric ozone, will act to decrease the SMB over the 21st century, and the mitigation of sea-level rise.
It is critical to elucidate the mechanisms behind the increase in Antarctic SMB, as it is...
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