TOMS Ozone at the South Pole: September Averages from 1979 through 2000
Released on October 3, 2000
The year 2000's Antarctic ozone hole is the largest ever observed. Scientists continue to investigate the phenomenon, and are somewhat surprised by its scale. Using data from NASA's Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) instrument onboard the Earth Probe satellite, researchers can evaluate and compare current conditions over the south pole to readings taken by other instruments in years past. Continued monitoring of polar ozone levels helps researchers gain a better understanding of how the planet's climate may be changing. The following animation shows how ozone loss at the south pole has grown since the mid-80s. Early readings over Antarctica indicate little or no ozone depletion beyond naturally predicted levels. But as the 80s and 90s progress, a clear change in atmospheric chemistry takes place at the bottom of the world. The hole starts small in the late 80s and spreads as subsequent winter cycles break apart ozone molecules.
Total ozone over the South Pole for each September from 1979 through 2000 as measured by the TOMS instruments on Nimbus 7, Meteor 3, and Earth Probe. Dark blue represents regions of very low ozone concentration in the stratosphere.
GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation:
Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version 188.8.131.52.0