Stratospheric chemistry in the NZESM

Dark clouds

Improving the simulation of stratospheric chemistry in the NZESM

The aim of this project is mainly to improve the simulation of stratospheric chemistry in the NZ Earth Systems Model (NZESM). Stratospheric ozone is particularly relevant to climate change in the southern hemisphere because of the emergence, in every spring, of the ozone hole above Antarctica.

  • Project Duration: 2 years
  • Project Budget: $300,000

Ozone depletion is a major (and, seasonally, the dominant) driver of southern hemisphere climate change. However, problems with simulating ozone means it’s difficult to have confidence that the extent of its influence is properly represented in the model. This work improves the simulation of stratospheric ozone depletion, and in particular Antarctic ozone depletion, to contribute to a more realistic
simulation of southern hemisphere climate and its response to human activity.

This project builds on a strong heritage in stratospheric model development in New Zealand and complements the work of our international partners in earth system modelling. We’re collaborating closely with another Deep South Challenge project (“Testing the NZESM against modern and historical observations”, see page 37) that will produce observational datasets to help us validate the NZESM. We’re also strengthening a long-standing relationship with Australian colleagues interested in climate–ozone links.

Contact Principal Investigator

Dr Olaf Morgenstern, NIWA,

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