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Modelling the potential impacts of the recent, unexpected increase in CFC-11 emissions on total column ozone recovery

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Luke Abraham, N 
Archibald, AT 
Chipperfield, MP 
Dhomse, S 


jats:pAbstract. The temporal evolution of the abundance of long-lived, anthropogenic chlorofluorocarbons in the atmosphere is a major factor in determining the timing of total column ozone (TCO) recovery. Recent observations have shown that the atmospheric mixing ratio of CFC-11 is not declining as rapidly as expected under full compliance with the Montreal Protocol and indicate a new source of CFC-11 emissions. In this study, the impact of a number of potential future CFC-11 emissions scenarios on the timing of the TCO return to the 1960–1980 mean (an important milestone on the road to recovery) is investigated using the Met Office's Unified Model (Hewitt et al., 2011) coupled with the United Kingdom Chemistry and Aerosol scheme (UM-UKCA). Key uncertainties related to this new CFC-11 source and their impact on the timing of the TCO return date are explored, including the duration of new CFC-11 production and emissions; the impact of any newly created CFC-11 bank; and the effects of co-production of CFC-12. Scenario-independent relationships are identified between cumulative CFC emissions and the timing of the TCO return date, which can be used to establish the impact of future CFC emissions pathways on ozone recovery in the real world. It is found that, for every 200 Gg Cl (∼258 Gg CFC-11) emitted, the timing of the global TCO return to 1960–1980 averaged values is delayed by ∼0.56 years. However, a marked hemispheric asymmetry in the latitudinal impacts of cumulative Cl emissions on the timing of the TCO return date is identified, with longer delays in the Southern Hemisphere than the Northern Hemisphere for the same emission. Together, these results indicate that, if rapid action is taken to curb recently identified CFC-11 production, then no significant delay in the timing of the TCO return to the 1960–1980 mean is expected, highlighting the importance of ongoing, long-term measurement efforts to inform the accountability phase of the Montreal Protocol. However, if the emissions are allowed to continue into the future and are associated with the creation of large banks, then significant delays in the timing of the TCO return date may occur. </jats:p>



37 Earth Sciences, 3701 Atmospheric Sciences, 13 Climate Action

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Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics

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Copernicus GmbH
European Commission (603557)