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European Ozone

Upper atmospheric conditions in The Northern Hemisphere are becoming similar to those of the Antarctic. The result of this could be the formation of an "Arctic Ozone Hole" or more correctly termed "low ozone event". 

The alarming difference is that there are millions of people that live in the area that will be exposed to this deadly radiation. These conditions could expose large numbers of people and animals to more ultraviolet radiation, which can cause skin cancer and disrupt reproduction of some animals and destroy plant life.  

The ozone layer, high up in the atmosphere, shields Earth from much of the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays. A gradual thinning due to emissions of damaging man-made chemicals has increased the occurrence of skin cancer and other illnesses related to over-exposure to ultraviolet rays, scientists say.  

 The continual decline in ozone levels due to chemical depletion and the increase in frequency of mini ozone holes over Europe is resulting in an increase in harmful biologically active UV radiation. 

Can we explain the trends in European ozone levels?

J. E. Jonson1, D. Simpson1, H. Fagerli1, and S. Solberg2
1Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Oslo, Norway
2NILU, Kjeller, Norway

Abstract. Ozone levels in Europe are changing. Emissions of ozone precursors from Europe (NOx, CO and non-methane hydrocarbons) have been substantially reduced over the last 10–15 years, but changes in ozone levels cannot be explained by changes in European emissions alone. The observed ozone trends at many European sites are only partially reproduced by global or regional photochemistry models, and possible reasons for this are discussed.

In order to further explain the European trends in ozone since 1990, the EMEP regional photochemistry model has been run for the years 1990 and 1995–2002. The EMEP model is a regional model centred over Europe but the model domain also includes most of the North Atlantic and the polar region. Climatological ozone data are used as initial and lateral boundary concentrations. Model results are compared to measurements over this timespan of 12 years. Possible causes for the measured trends in European surface ozone have been investigated using model sensitivity runs perturbing emissions and lateral boundary concentrations. The increase in winter ozone partially, and the decrease in the magnitude of high ozone episodes, is attributed to the decrease in ozone precursor emissions since 1990 by the model. Furthermore, the model calculations indicate that the emission reductions have resulted in a marked decrease in summer ozone in major parts of Europe, in particular in Germany. Such a trend in summer ozone is likely to be difficult to identify from the measurements alone because of large inter-annual variability.

11/11/2001-Low Ozone Event In Europe

12/15/1999-European Ozone Event Nov 20-Dec 2,1999: NASA images and report 
The European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit