Delayed Southern Hemisphere Climate Change Induced by Stratospheric Ozone Recovery, as Projected by the CMIP5 Models

Barnes, Elizabeth A.; Barnes, Nicholas W.; Polvani, Lorenzo M.

Stratospheric ozone is expected to recover by the end of this century because of the regulation of ozone-depleting substances by the Montreal Protocol. Targeted modeling studies have suggested that the climate response to ozone recovery will greatly oppose the climate response to rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. However, the extent of this cancellation remains unclear since only a few such studies are available. Here, a much larger set of simulations performed for phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project is analyzed, which includes ozone recovery. It is shown that the closing of the ozone hole will cause a delay in summertime [December–February (DJF)] Southern Hemisphere climate change between now and 2045. Specifically, it is found that the position of the jet stream, the width of the subtropical dry zones, the seasonality of surface temperatures, and sea ice concentrations all exhibit significantly reduced summertime trends over the first half of the twenty-first century as a consequence of ozone recovery. After 2045, forcing from GHG emissions begins to dominate the climate response. Finally, comparing the relative influences of future GHG emissions and historic ozone depletion, it is found that the simulated DJF tropospheric circulation changes between 1965 and 2005 (driven primarily by ozone depletion) are larger than the projected changes in any future scenario over the entire twenty-first century.

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Also Published In

Journal of Climate

More About This Work

Academic Units
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Earth and Environmental Sciences
Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics
Ocean and Climate Physics
American Meteorological Society
Published Here
February 25, 2016