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An Examination of the Recent Stability of Ozonesonde Global Network Data
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  • Ryan Michael Stauffer,
  • Anne M. Thompson,
  • Debra Kollonige,
  • David Tarasick,
  • Roeland Van Malderen,
  • Herman G.J. Smit,
  • Holger Vömel,
  • Gary Morris,
  • Bryan J. Johnson,
  • Patrick Cullis,
  • René Stübi,
  • Jonathan Davies,
  • Michael M Yan
Ryan Michael Stauffer
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Corresponding Author:ryan.m.stauffer@nasa.gov

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Anne M. Thompson
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Debra Kollonige
Science Systems and Applications Inc
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David Tarasick
Environment & Climate Change Canada
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Roeland Van Malderen
Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium
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Herman G.J. Smit
Forschungszentrum Jülich
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Holger Vömel
National Center for Atmospheric Research (UCAR)
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Gary Morris
NOAA Earth System Research Laboratories
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Bryan J. Johnson
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Patrick Cullis
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René Stübi
Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology, MeteoSwiss
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Jonathan Davies
Environment and Climate Change Canada
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Michael M Yan
Kellogg Brown & Root
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The recent Assessment of Standard Operating Procedures for OzoneSondes (ASOPOS 2.0; WMO/GAW Report #268) addressed questions of homogeneity and long-term stability in global electrochemical concentration cell (ECC) ozone sounding network time series. Among its recommendations was adoption of a standard for evaluating data quality in ozonesonde time-series. Total column ozone (TCO) derived from the sondes compared to TCO from Aura’s Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) is a primary quality indicator. Comparisons of sonde ozone with Aura’s Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) are used to assess the stability of stratospheric ozone. This paper provides a comprehensive examination of global ozonesonde network data stability and accuracy since 2004. Comparisons with Aura OMI TCO averaged across the network of 60 stations are stable within about +/-2% over the past 18 years. Sonde TCO has similar stability compared to three other TCO satellite instruments, and the stratospheric ozone measurements average to within +/-5% of MLS from 50 to 10 hPa. Thus, sonde data are reliable for trends, but with a caveat applied for a subset of stations in the tropics and subtropics for which a sudden post-2013 TCO “dropoff” of ~3-4% was reported previously (Stauffer et al., 2020). The dropoff is associated with only one of two major ECC instrument types. A detailed examination of ECC serial numbers pinpoints the timing of the dropoff. However, we find that overall, ozonesonde data are stable and accurate compared to independent measurements over the past two decades.