Tropospheric Ozone Impacts Global Climate Warming

  • Released Tuesday, February 28th, 2006
  • Updated Wednesday, May 3rd, 2023 at 1:55PM
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In the first global assessment of the impact of ozone on climate warming, scientists at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), New York, evaluated how ozone in the lowest part of the atmosphere (the troposphere) changed temperatures over the past 100 years. Using the best available estimates of global emissions of gases that create ozone, the GISS computer model study reveals how much this single air pollutant and greenhouse gas has contributed to warming in specific regions of the world.

Ozone was responsible for one-third to half of the observed warming trend in the Arctic during winter and spring, according to the new research. Ozone is transported from the industrialized countries in the Northern Hemisphere to the Arctic quite efficiently during these seasons. The findings will be published soon in the American Geophysical Union's Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres.

The impact of ozone air pollution on climate warming is difficult to pinpoint because, unlike other greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, ozone does not last long enough in the lower atmosphere to spread uniformly around the globe. Its warming impact is much more closely tied to the region it originated from. To capture this complex picture, the GISS scientists used a suite of three-dimensional computer models that starts with data on ozone sources and then tracks how ozone chemically evolved and moved around the world over the past century.

The research was supported by NASA's Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Analysis Program.

Temperature Colorbar

Temperature Colorbar

1880 - This image shows a decadal winter and spring seasonal average between December through May in the years 1880 through 1889.

1880 - This image shows a decadal winter and spring seasonal average between December through May in the years 1880 through 1889.

1890 - This image shows a decadal winter and spring seasonal  average between 1890 and 1899. Both polar regions are slightly above normal temperatures.

1890 - This image shows a decadal winter and spring seasonal average between 1890 and 1899. Both polar regions are slightly above normal temperatures.

1900 - This image shows a decadal winter and spring seasonal average between 1900 and 1909. Notice both polar regions are at or below average temperatures.

1900 - This image shows a decadal winter and spring seasonal average between 1900 and 1909. Notice both polar regions are at or below average temperatures.

1910 - This image shows a decadal winter and spring seasonal average between 1910 and 1919. Notice both polar regions are at or below average temperatures.

1910 - This image shows a decadal winter and spring seasonal average between 1910 and 1919. Notice both polar regions are at or below average temperatures.

1920 - This  decadal winter and spring seasonal average shows higher than normal temperatures in Europe, but the poles are both normal.

1920 - This decadal winter and spring seasonal average shows higher than normal temperatures in Europe, but the poles are both normal.

1930 - This decadal winter and spring seasonal average shows both polar regions are at or below average temperatures.

1930 - This decadal winter and spring seasonal average shows both polar regions are at or below average temperatures.

1940 - This  decadal winter and spring seasonal average
shows warmer then normal temperatures over Europe, but both polar areas record normal temperatures.

1940 - This decadal winter and spring seasonal average shows warmer then normal temperatures over Europe, but both polar areas record normal temperatures.

1950 - This decadal winter and spring seasonal average exposes slightly higher then normal temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere.

1950 - This decadal winter and spring seasonal average exposes slightly higher then normal temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere.

1960 - This decadal winter and spring seasonal average illustrates the warmer then normal average temperatures in the northern latitudes.

1960 - This decadal winter and spring seasonal average illustrates the warmer then normal average temperatures in the northern latitudes.

1970 - This decadal winter and spring seasonal average illustrates warmer then normal average temperatures in the northern latitudes.

1970 - This decadal winter and spring seasonal average illustrates warmer then normal average temperatures in the northern latitudes.

1980 - This  decadal winter and spring seasonal average illustrates slightly warmer then normal average temperatures in the northern latitudes.

1980 - This decadal winter and spring seasonal average illustrates slightly warmer then normal average temperatures in the northern latitudes.

1990 - This decadal winter and spring seasonal average illustrates warmer then normal average temperatures in the northern latitudes.

1990 - This decadal winter and spring seasonal average illustrates warmer then normal average temperatures in the northern latitudes.



Credits

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio


Series

This visualization can be found in the following series:

Datasets used in this visualization

  • Anomalous Temperature Data

    ID: 544
    NASA's Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling and Analysis Program December through May for years 1880 through 2000

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