I just returned from a year of supporting NOAA’s research at the South Pole, and what an adventure it was! A big part of our job as the two woman team maintaining the Atmospheric Research Observatory at Pole was frequent balloon launches. Each launch provided us with data that could be used to construct a… Read More

  With sunrise behind us and the South Pole beginning six straight months of daytime, destruction of protective ozone continues high above in the stratosphere. Oct 03 has a new minimum Total Column Ozone for the year at 115 DU.  Tropospheric ozone was much lower compared to Oct 01. Oct 01 Total Column was at… Read More

This is an exciting time for the NOAA/CIRES ozone team in Boulder and at the South Pole.  In Boulder, every morning starts with the question, “Any news from the South Pole?”  We’re all eager to know if the latest balloon launch went well and if we are starting to see any signs of the ozone… Read More

With an average winter temperature of -75F and lows that can go well below -100F, people often ask how I was able to handle the cold during my winter at the South Pole.  The thing to remember is that Antarctica is the largest desert on Earth.  It is beyond “dry”.  The South Pole only receives… Read More

Check out this link to our South Pole camera!  It shows a picture of the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station taken every 15 minutes (if a relay satellite is available for transmission).  The camera is attached to the roof of the National Science Foundation’s Atmospheric Research Observatory (ARO), which houses NOAA/ESRL’s Clean Air Facility where measurement… Read More

Measuring Ozone in the Atmosphere The majority of ozone in the atmosphere is found high above the surface in the “Ozone Layer.”  Stratospheric ozone is typically measured as Total Column Ozone, a number representing all the ozone molecules located in a column of air extending from the surface all the way to the edge of… Read More

The Ozone Layer is the name given to naturally occurring high concentrations of ozone located high up in the stratosphere between 35,000 – 160,000 feet.  The ozone layer is important to life on Earth because of its ability to filter out harmful doses of ultraviolet light from the Sun that has the ability to damage… Read More

The 2016 formation of the Antarctic Ozone Hole turned out to be fairly “average.”  After 2015, where an incredibly stable polar vortex held the depletion region together well in to December, NOAA scientist were curious how 2016 would progress.  Although the vortex remained fairly stable and circular, the depletion region never quite reached the size seen last… Read More

  With sunrise finally arriving and the South Pole beginning six straight months of daytime, destruction of protective ozone continues high above in the stratosphere.  As can be seen in the plot above, 2016 continues marching toward a minimum measurement of total column ozone during the  annual formation of the Antarctic Ozone Hole.  Scientists at Boulder’s… Read More

With sunrise now only a few days away, NOAA scientists at the South Pole continue to launch balloons high in to the stratosphere to measure the quickly depleting ozone layer overhead.  Free chlorine activated by the long-absent sunlight high in the stratosphere is currently destroying large swaths of protective ozone.   The instrument on this balloon… Read More