Ozone and Trace Gases

The ozone layer is an important component of the global environmental system. The absorption of harmful solar UV radiation in the ozone layer protects the biosphere and heats the stratosphere. Thus changes in the atmospheric circulation and in the emission of anthropogenic substances that affect the abundance of ozone in the atmosphere have direct effects on the global climate system. A detailed understanding of the processes that regulate the distribution of ozone in the atmosphere is fundamental for reliable climate predictions and for estimating future UV-levels at the surface – an important parameter for the biosphere.

By means of sophisticated pan-polar ozonesonde campaigns Match we quantify polar ozone losses.  In addition with box and Lagrangian modelling as well as flight track planning for high altitude research aircrafts using the Match principle we contribute to the theoretical understanding of these ozone losses.

We are investigating the factors influencing observed trends in Arctic wintertime stratospheric ozone losses.  The processes in the polar stratosphere are highly coupled with processes in other parts of the stratosphere.  Therefore, our research includes studies in lower latitudes even in the tropics, where tropospheric air enters the stratosphere.