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The data provide direct evidence that heavily depleted air contains reduced nitric acid abundances, and better quantify the roles of polar stratospheric cloud chemistry and temperatures below −80 °C to −85 °C in ozone destruction.
Antarctic ozone depletion is associated with enhanced chlorine from anthropogenic chlorofluorocarbons and heterogeneous chemistry under cold conditions.
The data presentation should also be useful for future studies testing the ability of numerical models to fully simulate ozone depletion.
Although limited to a few sites in each hemisphere, these are the only data that extend from the 1960s onward, before the satellite era.
We next present microwave limb sounder (MLS) satellite observations (available from 2004 to present), to probe the consistency between the limited spatial sampling of the balloons from a few surface sites to the extensive coverage of the satellite and to examine how data from the MLS platform compare with the most extreme local depletions observed in situ.
These two factors taken together explain why ozone depletion in the Arctic is generally much smaller than in the Antarctic.
A particularly cold Arctic stratospheric winter and spring in 2010/2011 displayed much larger ozone depletion than typical years, as highlighted by Manney et al. This noteworthy geophysical event has intrigued scientists and raised several important questions: Could this be the first Arctic ozone hole?