Stratospheric ozone loss over the Eurasian continent induced by the polar vortex shift
The Montreal Protocol has succeeded in limiting major ozone-depleting substance emissions, and consequently stratospheric ozone concentrations are expected to recover this century. However, there is a large uncertainty in the rate of regional ozone recovery in the Northern Hemisphere. Here we identify a Eurasia-North America dipole mode in the total column ozone over the Northern Hemisphere, showing negative and positive total column ozone anomaly centres over Eurasia and North America, respectively. The positive trend of this mode explains an enhanced total column ozone decline over the Eurasian continent in the past three decades, which is closely related to the polar vortex shift towards Eurasia. Multiple chemistry-climate-model simulations indicate that the positive Eurasia-North America dipole trend in late winter is likely to continue in the near future. Our findings suggest that the anticipated ozone recovery in late winter will be sensitive not only to the ozone-depleting substance decline but also to the polar vortex changes, and could be substantially delayed in some regions of the Northern Hemisphere extratropics.