Stratospheric ozone loss inside the Arctic polar vortex for the winters between 2004–2005 and 2012–2013 has been quantified using measurements from the space-borne Atmospheric Chemistry Experiment Fourier Transform Spectrometer (ACE-FTS). For the first time, an evaluation has been performed of six different ozone loss estimation methods based on the same single observational dataset to determine the Arctic ozone loss (mixing ratio loss profiles and the partial-column ozone losses between 380 and 550 K). The methods used are the tracer-tracer correlation, the artificial tracer correlation, the average vortex profile descent, and the passive subtraction with model output from both Lagrangian and Eulerian chemical transport models (CTMs). For the tracer-tracer, the artificial tracer, and the average vortex profile descent approaches, various tracers have been used that are also measured by ACE-FTS. From these seven tracers investigated (CH4, N2O, HF, OCS, CFC-11, CFC-12, and CFC-113), we found that CH4, N2O, HF, and CFC-12 are the most suitable tracers for investigating polar stratospheric ozone depletion with ACE-FTS v3.5. The ozone loss estimates (in terms of the mixing ratio as well as total column ozone) are generally in good agreement between the different methods and among the different tracers. However, using the average vortex profile descent technique typically leads to smaller maximum losses (by approximately 15–30 DU) compared to all other methods. The passive subtraction method using output from CTMs generally results in slightly larger losses compared to the techniques that use ACE-FTS measurements only. The ozone loss computed, using both measurements and models, shows the greatest loss during the 2010–2011 Arctic winter. For that year, our results show that maximum ozone loss (2.1–2.7 ppmv) occurred at 460 K. The estimated partial-column ozone loss inside the polar vortex (between 380 and 550 K) using the different methods is 66–103, 61–95, 59–96, 41–89, and 85–122 DU for March 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2011, respectively. Ozone loss is difficult to diagnose for the Arctic winters during 2005–2006, 2008–2009, 2011–2012, and 2012–2013, because strong polar vortex disturbance or major sudden stratospheric warming events significantly perturbed the polar vortex, thereby limiting the number of measurements available for the analysis of ozone loss.
EPIC Alfred Wegener Institut