Scientific Assessment on Ozone Depletion 2018

by David Karoly

Every four years, scientists from around the world undertake an assessment of the latest scientific understanding of the status of the stratospheric ozone layer and its depletion or recovery, as well as concentrations of ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere, projections of future ozone change and links between ozone change and climate. This assessment is required by the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and is completed under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization. The assessment is particularly relevant to Australia because of concerns about the Antarctic ozone hole and its impacts on Southern Hemisphere climate, winds and ocean circulation.

Schematic illustration of Southern Hemisphere climate impacts in austral summer associated with Antarctic ozone depletion. Reproduced from Fig. 4-22, WMO/UNEP Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2014


The preparation of the Ozone Assessment for 2018 has started, with the appointment of the Co-Chairs, Scientific Steering Committee and Lead Authors, who met in London in early May. Authors have also been appointed for each of the chapters and there is a larger involvement of Australian scientists in this Assessment than in earlier ones. David Karoly (University of Melbourne) is a member of the Scientific Steering Committee, Matt Tully (Bureau of Meteorology) is a Lead Author for the chapter Polar stratospheric ozone: Past, present & future, Paul Krummel (CSIRO) and Malte Meinshausen (University of Melbourne) are Authors on the Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) chapter, Andrew Klekiocuk (Australian Antarctic Division) is an Author on the Polar stratospheric ozone: Past, present & future chapter, and Julie Arblaster (Monash University) is an Author on the Stratospheric ozone changes and climate chapter. 

Preparation of the first drafts of chapters has started and chapters will be sent out for expert review in September.  If you are undertaking relevant research and you want your papers to be included, all papers cited in the Assessment must have been published or accepted for publication by May 15, 2018. Hence, you should get a move on and submit any relevant research for publication as soon as possible, as well as sending it for information to the Lead Authors of the relevant chapter. More information on the Assessment is available here.

The completed Assessment will be released at the Meeting of Parties to the Montreal Protocol in late 2018.

UNSW logo ANU logo Monash logo UMelb logo UTAS logo