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The Impact of Stratospheric Ozone Recovery on Global Warming

Paper Reviewed
Previdi, M. and Polvani, L.M. 2014. Climate system response to stratospheric ozone depletion and recovery. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society 140: 2401-2419.

In a study published in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society, Previdi and Polyani (2014) begin by briefly describing the initial discovery of the Antarctic "ozone hole" and what may have caused it, which shortly thereafter led to the 1987 ratification of the "Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer," which had been designed to protect the ozone layer by the phasing out of the production and use of various ozone-depleting substances, due to concerns that depletion of stratospheric ozone would lead to increased levels of harmful UV radiation at the Earth's surface. And now that that feat has been largely accomplished, they move on to review what is expected to occur as a result of stratospheric ozone recovery.

Focusing their attention on responses of Earth's atmosphere, oceans and cryosphere, they address the subjects of atmospheric circulation changes, tropospheric and surface temperature changes, cloud and precipitation changes, ocean circulation changes, Southern Ocean CO2 uptake changes, Antarctic sea-ice changes, and Antarctic ice sheet mass balance changes, after which they go on to consider the ultimate impact of these several changes on Earth's climate system, concluding -- in the final sentence of their paper's abstract -- that "ozone recovery will figure prominently in future climate change, with its impacts expected to largely cancel the impacts of increasing greenhouse gases during the next half-century," which would clearly suggest that we need not implement any significant programs designed to reduce anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

Posted 15 April 2015