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Increasing Surface UV Radiation in the Tropics and Northern Mid-Latitudes due to Ozone Depletion after 2010

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Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation harms humans and ecosystems. The level of surface UV radiation had increased due to declines in stratospheric ozone in the late 1970s in response to emissions of chlorofluorocarbons. Following the implementation of the Montreal Protocol, the stratospheric loading of chlorine/bromine peaked in the late 1990s and then decreased; subsequently, stratospheric ozone and surface UV radiation would be expected to recover and decrease, respectively. Here, we show, based on multiple data sources, that the May–September surface UV radiation in the tropics and Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes has undergone a statistically significant increasing trend [about 60.0 J m−2 (10 yr)−1] at the 2σ level for the period 2010–20, due to the onset of total column ozone (TCO) depletion [about −3.5 DU (10 yr)−1]. Further analysis shows that the declines in stratospheric ozone after 2010 could be related to an increase in stratospheric nitrogen oxides due to increasing emissions of the source gas nitrous oxide (N2O).

摘 要

强紫外线辐射(UV)是危害人类和生态系统的重要因素。20世纪后半期,由于氯氟烃等臭氧层损耗的物质的排放,平流层臭氧含量下降,地表UV通量增加。《蒙特利尔议定书》实施后,平流层氯/溴的含量在20世纪90年代末达到峰值,然后下降;随后,平流层臭氧和地表UV强度预计在21世纪将分别恢复和减少。基于多种观测数据,我们发现,由于2010-2020年热带和北半球中纬度地区在5至9月臭氧柱总量(TCO)的减少 [约−3.5 DU (10 yr)–1],地表UV强度出现了显著增加的趋势 [约60.0 J m–2 (10 yr)–1]。进一步分析表明,2010年后平流层臭氧的下降可能与作为臭氧层损耗的物质的氧化亚氮(N2O)的地面排放量增加有关。

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Data availability statement

Data related to this paper are publicly available and can be downloaded from the following addresses: OMI from Aura_OMI_Level3/OMUVBd.003/; TEMIS from; MSR-2 from; SWOOSH from; MLS from data are available online at The codes to calculate the results associated with the main figures in this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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We acknowledge the OMI, TEMIS, MSR-2, SWOOSH, and MLS teams for providing the observational data used in this study. Funding for this work was provided by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 42122037, 42105016, 41975047).

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Correspondence to Yan Xia.

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Article Highlights

• May–September surface UV radiation in the tropics and NH mid-latitudes shows an increasing trend from 2010 to 2020.

• The significant decreasing trends of lower- and mid-stratospheric ozone jointly contributed to the increase in surface UV radiation.

• N2O emissions increased after 2009 and weakened the mid-stratospheric circulation resulting in decreased stratospheric ozone.

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Xie, F., Xia, Y., Feng, W. et al. Increasing Surface UV Radiation in the Tropics and Northern Mid-Latitudes due to Ozone Depletion after 2010. Adv. Atmos. Sci. 40, 1833–1843 (2023).

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