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Delay in recovery of the Antarctic ozone hole from unexpected CFC-11 emissions

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  • S. S. Dhomse
  • W. Feng
  • S. A. Montzka
  • R. Hossaini
  • J. Keeble
  • J. A. Pyle
  • J. S. Daniel
  • M. P. Chipperfield
Article number5781
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>19/12/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Nature Communications
Number of pages12
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The Antarctic ozone hole is decreasing in size but this recovery will be affected by atmospheric variability and any unexpected changes in chlorinated source gas emissions. Here, using model simulations, we show that the ozone hole will largely cease to occur by 2065 given compliance with the Montreal Protocol. If the unusual meteorology of 2002 is repeated, an ozone-hole-free-year could occur as soon as the early 2020s by some metrics. The recently discovered increase in CFC-11 emissions of ~ 13 Gg yr−1 may delay recovery. So far the impact on ozone is small, but if these emissions indicate production for foam use much more CFC-11 may be leaked in the future. Assuming such production over 10 years, disappearance of the ozone hole will be delayed by a few years, although there are significant uncertainties. Continued, substantial future CFC-11 emissions of 67 Gg yr−1 would delay Antarctic ozone recovery by well over a decade.