2020 Volume 98 Issue 5 Pages 1083-1091
A method is proposed to gain insight into ozone recovery over Antarctica. The following metrics relating to the ozone hole are considered: minimum total column ozone (TCO3) within the hole, TCO3 at the South Pole, area of the ozone hole, mass of ozone loss within the hole, and density of loss per unit area. The daily metric values, based on the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute archives of the ozone hole, are averaged for each year over the period 1979–2019 for the following intervals: 1–30 September, 15 September–15 October, 1–31 October, 15 October–15 November, and 1–30 November. The following indicators of the ozone hole recovery are examined: the metric recovery rate by 2019 (i.e., the change between its extreme and its 2019 level divided by the change between the extreme year and 1980) and the year of metric recovery. The recovery year is derived by forward-in-time extrapolation of the metric linear trend found for the period 2000–2019. The uncertainties in these indicators are obtained using a bootstrap approach analyzing statistics of the synthetic time series of the metrics. A comparison of the proposed ozone hole healing indicators with the indicators inferred from the equivalent effective stratospheric chlorine (EESC) loading over Antarctica (22.1 % and year 2076) shows to what extent recovery of the ozone layer is associated with EESC effects. For the mass and density of ozone loss in the periods 1–30 September and 15 September–15 October, the metric recovery rate by 2019 is ∼ 2 times larger and the recovery year is at least 20–30 years earlier than the corresponding indicators of the EESC changes. Therefore, the ozone hole is recovering faster during these periods than expected based on the stratospheric halogen loading alone.