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NASA's Aura Spacecraft Measures Unusual 2005 Ozone Arctic Conditions
06.02.05
 
Despite near-record levels of chemical ozone destruction in the Arctic this winter, observations from NASA's Aura spacecraft showed that other atmospheric processes restored ozone amounts to near average and stopped high levels of harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching Earth's surface.

Aura's Microwave Limb Sounder Estimates of Ozone Loss, 2004/2005 Arctic Winter
series of globes illustrating estimated ozone loss for arctic winter, 2004-2005

Image above: Maps from Aura's Microwave Limb Sounder instrument depicting changes in concentrations of hydrogen chloride (top), chlorine monoxide (center), and ozone (bottom) for selected days during the 2004-2005 Arctic winter.

Image credit: NASA/JPL.
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Microwave Limb Sounder Measurements Depicting the Relationship Between Nitrous Oxide Levels and Ozone Loss, 2004-2005 Arctic Winter
top row shows data from microwave limb sounder for nitrous oxide levels and lower row  shows levels for ozone, also from microwave limb sounder

Image above: Aura's Microwave Limb Sounder measures nitrous oxide, which is unaffected by stratospheric chemical processes. By studying changes in its levels, scientists can better understand how air is moving around and how ozone is affected by that air motion, allowing them to differentiate those changes from the ones caused by chemical ozone destruction.

Image credit: NASA/JPL.
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Animation: Interaction Between Temperatures and Chemicals Involved in Ozone Destruction, 2004-2005 Arctic Winter
graphic showing interaction temperatures and chemicals involved in ozone destruction
+ Ozone animation
Image left: This animation created from data from the Microwave Limb Sounder instrument on NASA's Aura spacecraft depicts the complex interaction of chemicals involved in the destruction of ozone during the 2005 Arctic winter. Red is high, blue/purple is low for all chemicals, and data are taken at an altitude of about 19 kilometers (12 miles).

Image credit: NASA/JPL.
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Selected Measurements of Total Arctic Column Ozone Amounts from Aura's Ozone Monitoring Instrument, 2004-2005 Arctic Winter
data from Aura showing ozone in January and March 2005, and March 11, 2005 Image left: Images from Aura's Ozone Monitoring Instrument showing the average total column ozone during the months of January and March, and the total column ozone on the single day of 11 March.

Image credit: NASA/JPL/Agency for Aerospace Programs (Netherlands)/Finnish Meteorological Institute .
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