Ozonesonde data from four sites are analyzed in relation to 191 solar proton events from 1989 to 2016. Analysis shows ozone depletion (~10–35 km altitude) commencing following the SPEs. Seasonally corrected ozone data demonstrate that depletions occur only in winter/early spring above sites where the northern hemisphere polar vortex (PV) can be present. A rapid reduction in stratospheric ozone is observed with the maximum decrease occurring ~10–20 days after solar proton events. Ozone levels remain depleted in excess of 30 days. No depletion is observed above sites completely outside the PV. No depletion is observed in relation to 191 random epochs at any site at any time of year. Results point to the role of indirect ozone destruction, most likely via the rapid descent of long‐lived NOx species in the PV during the polar winter.
Geophysical Research Letters – Wiley
Published: Jan 28, 2018
Keywords: ; ;
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