Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Isolating the Antarctic Ozone Hole and Wind
Name: Amalina
Status: N/A
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
What is the wind pattern over Antarctica that isolates the ozone hole?


Replies:
Amalina,

A cyclonic vortex (low pressure) occurs over the Antarctic in the mid-Troposphere to lower Stratosphere layer of the atmosphere. This is not a surface weather pattern. The cyclonic circulation results from the strong temperature gradient between the almost circular and very cold Antarctic continent and warmer, primarily oceanic, areas north of Antarctica.

No sunlight for nearly three months during winter allows Antarctica, and the atmosphere above it, to cool dramatically, with air sinking over Antarctica. You can see a good explanation of the meteorology at

www.atm.ch.cam.ac.uk/tour/part3.html

Towards the end of winter, when the Sun comes up and illuminates the "ozone layer", photochemical destruction of ozone occurs, from a reaction of nitric acid, bromine, and CFCs, on stratospheric clouds to release chlorine atoms.

David R. Cook
Meteorologist
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory


Click here to return to the Weather Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory