An Examination of the Recent Stability of Ozonesonde Global Network Data





Citation of Original Publication

Stauffer, R. M., Thompson, A. M., Kollonige, D. E., Tarasick, D. W., Van Malderen, R., Smit, H. G. J., et al. (2022). An examination of the recent stability of ozonesonde global network data. Earth and Space Science, 9, e2022EA002459.


This work was written as part of one of the author's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
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The recent Assessment of Standard Operating Procedures for Ozonesondes 2.0 (WMO/GAW Report #268) addressed questions of homogeneity and long-term stability in global electrochemical concentration cell (ECC) ozone sounding network time series. Among its recommendations was adoption of a standard for evaluating data quality in ozonesonde time series. Total column ozone (TCO) derived from the sondes compared to TCO from Aura's Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) is a primary quality indicator. Comparisons of sonde ozone with Aura's Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) are used to assess the stability of stratospheric ozone. This paper provides a comprehensive examination of global ozonesonde network data stability and accuracy since 2004 in light of the sudden post-2013 TCO “dropoff” of ∼3%–4% that was reported previously at select stations (Stauffer et al., 2020, Comparisons with Aura OMI TCO averaged across the network of 60 stations are stable within about ±2% over the past 18 years. Sonde TCO has similar stability compared to three other TCO satellite instruments, and the stratospheric ozone measurements average to within ±5% of MLS from 50 to 10 hPa. Thus, sonde data are reliable for trends, but with a caveat applied for a subset of dropoff stations in the tropics and subtropics. The dropoff is associated with only one of two major ECC instrument types. A detailed examination of ECC serial numbers pinpoints the timing of the dropoff. However, we find that overall, ozonesonde data are stable and accurate compared to independent measurements over the past two decades