Antarctic ozone evolution since 1898 and the International Polar years
Antarctic ozone evolution since 1898 and the International Polar Years
Belgian Institute for Space Aeronomy and B.USOC
IPY 2008 The ozone hole is a yearly total
ozone minimum observed in Sep-
tember and October in Antarc-
tica, three conditions are neces-
sary to start it: the Antarctic
vortex which isolates the Ant-
arctic atmosphere, the formation
of stratospheric clouds and the
presence of active chemical spe-
cies (chlorine and bromine) trans-
ported from lower latitudes.
The Belgica wintering of 1898-1899 was the first real scientific expedi-
tion to Antarctica with an international team of 7 scientists, Henryk
Arctowski was the chief meteorologist.
Cloud observations of
Dobrowolski, these cor-
Ozone hole during 7 October 2008 as measured by the Scan-
respond to Polar strato-
ning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Car- spheric Clouds which
tography (SCIAMACHY) atmospheric sensor onboard ESA’s cause the present ozone
Envisat. SCIAMACHY is a tri-national instrument (Germany, hole when activated by
Netherlands and Belgium). The 2008 record ozone hole corre- chlorine.
sponding to the IPY is slightly more important than the 2009 The wind roses show an
ozone hole. (image produced using the assimilation tools of early Antarctic vortex. An observation of PSC’s (Polar Stratospheric Clouds
KNMI) over the Australian Antarctic base Davis
4 (68° 34' 35.8" S 77° 58' 02.6" E) - 19 September
2001- Photo by M. Lambert, the latitude corresponds
to the Belgica wintering.
No ozone measurements are performed in Antarctica, however stratospheric ozone monitoring
has systematically begun with the Dobson network and Chapman has formulated a first ozone
theory. Belgium participates to the IPY through a geomagnetic station in Elisabethville.
With Chapman as presi-
dent, Marcel Nicolet as
secretary, the CSAGI
gives a priority to Ant-
arctic ozone and mete-
orology, again Belgium
reacts by installing a
Dobson instrument in
Congo. A CSAGI meeting in Brussels.
A CSAGI meeting in Moscow.
A first Dobson in-
strument is in-
stalled in the Brit-
ish Halley Base in
Monthly averages of total ozone values for September 1957 during IGY.
over the South Pole for the last 10 years using measure-
ments from the Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrome-
ter for Atmospheric Cartography (SCIAMACHY) sensor
aboard ESA's Envisat, the Global Ozone Monitoring Ex-
Picture by Derek Ward of Halley Bay in 1958.
periment (GOME) aboard ESA ERS-2 and its follow-on in- "It was clear that the winter vortex over the
South Pole was maintained late into the spring
strument GOME-2 aboard EUMETSAT MetOp. The vortex
and that this kept the ozone values low".
broke early in 2002. All three sensors have important Bel- (Dobson over the first Antarctic data). After,
more stations were added including a Belgo-
gian participation. (image produced by DLR) Dutch station at Base Roi Baudouin in 1965-
It was the Syowa Japanese station that made in
1984 the first announcement of abnormal Octo-
1983 ber values in 1982 and 1983.
The British Antarctic survey publication in NA-
TURE in 1985 is however the publication which
No polar year was scheduled in 1983, if one alerted the scientists over the ozone hole prob-
lem. Its chemical explanation was given in 1987
would have been organised, the ozone hole after two American led campaigns in Antarctica
and precipitated the signing of the Montréal
would have been discovered two years ear-
lier by the synergetic exploitation of polar
year specific campaigns. Antarctic 1958 values of ozone compared to Spitsbergen averages.: a dissym-
Figure showing the Halley Bay results together with Syowa and Roi Baudouin