Home > temperature, weather > High altitude atmospheric pressure and ozone, south pole

High altitude atmospheric pressure and ozone, south pole


Overlay of south pole satellite measured Ozone and 1 hPa air pressure model. (note: 3 day difference of dates, data availability)

It’s spring in the southern hemisphere, sunlight is starting to buzz the atmosphere as the long night ends. Ozone is always low then.

The satellite measurement is not very good for technical reasons: it can only detect ozone if the gas is illuminated, which doesn’t work at night. Ground measurements do work, normally done using narrowband transmitted radiation and looks at a ratio where one half contains an ozone absorption line. This can be done using either the sun or the moon (reflected sunlight), hence can be done at night.
(older article here adds more)

Over at Tallbloke’s Talkshop commentor ren has been pointing at something unusual going on around the south pole. I put two and two together, ren showed pressure, I looked at ozone.

Antarctica is largely a high plateau, an additional reason it is so cold and also isolated from normal weather interchange by both atmospheric and ocean circumpolar currents. A very strange place.

The atmosphere is thinnest at the poles, thickest at the equator so low pressure is normal in this case. I think it is lower than normal, the pressure overlay plot is contours of altitude at 1hPa.

The novel item is the pressure pattern tending to match ozone, where fresh ozone is being created, high values also means radiating, hot, hence the air pressure tends to higher.


South pole geomagnetic field strength contour map, primary pole south of Australia. Unfortunately I was unable to find a polar map as such so this is a polar wrap approximation [1] from an unequal area rectangular map.

The exact location of the magnetic pole near Antarctica is unclear and as with other geomagnetics moves fairly rapidly.

Notice the ozone peak and the magnetic pole are curiously similar in location. I’ve noticed ozone seeming high there before but had not looked at geomagnetics.

Why? The first to come to mind is cosmic rays which are related to magnetics but there are other effects. Wish I knew what is going on.

1. Imagemagick
>convert mag-map-1.jpg -virtual-pixel HorizontalTile -background gray
-distort polar “0 40” mag-map-2.jpg
Where 10 sets the hole size in the middle.


Original imageImage


3. Ozone plots


Categories: temperature, weather
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: