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The anomalously small 2019 Antarctic ozone hole in an assimilation of MLS observations with the GEOS Constituent Data Assimilation System
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  • Krzysztof Wargan,
  • Brad Weir,
  • Gloria L Manney,
  • Stephen E. Cohn,
  • Nathaniel J Livesey
Krzysztof Wargan
Science Systems and Applications, Inc.

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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Brad Weir
USRA / NASA Goddard
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Gloria L Manney
Northwest Research Associates
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Stephen E. Cohn
Data Assimilation Office
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Nathaniel J Livesey
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
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A rare disturbance of the stratospheric Antarctic polar vortex in September 2019 led to a significantly higher than usual polar total ozone column. We use assimilation of ozone, HCl, and NO data from the Microwave Limb Sounder with the Global Earth Observing System Constituent Data Assimilation System driven by reanalysis meteorology to study the evolution of the 2019 Antarctic polar ozone. We find that the maximum 2019 ozone hole area was near 10 million km, and as little as 20% of that in 2018 in mid-September. However, the magnitude of vortex-averaged chemical ozone depletion was not significantly different between the two years despite earlier chlorine deactivation in 2019. The assimilation results show that most of the differences between 2018 and 2019 Antarctic ozone resulted from two factors: (1) the geometry of the 2019 vortex, with ozone-rich middle-stratospheric air masses overlying the lower portion of the vortex and leading to a significant reduction of the total column; (2) significantly reduced vortex volume. The anomalously small ozone hole of 2019 was comparable in size to the record breaking 2002 case and the mechanisms responsible were similar in the two cases. While the 2019 sudden stratospheric warming is classified as minor, its impact on ozone was very significant.