In addition to the current satellite measurements, NASA research efforts use data collected on the ground, in the air and from previous missions.
Data from past satellite observations have been essential to understanding ozone depletion. NASA's Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer, or TOMS, was one of NASA's signature ozone research achievements. TOMS launched in 1978 and was decommissioned in May 2007.
"The TOMS images of the Antarctic ozone hole caused worldwide alarm and thus played a key role in the Montreal Protocol and other international agreements to phase out the offending chemicals from our environment," said Goddard's Pawan Bhartia, project scientist for the mission. In addition, measurements from the Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment, along with the Microwave Limb Sounder and the Halogen Occultation Experiment aboard the Upper Atmospheric Research Satellite, were important to scientists' understanding of ozone.
Scientists collect atmospheric composition data from ground-based monitoring stations around the world. Researchers have collected measurements since 1978 for nearly all compounds identified in the Montreal Protocol. The data come from coastal monitoring stations used in previous missions and as part of the NASA-sponsored Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment.
Airborne instruments have been a critical piece of the scientific search to find the cause of ozone depletion, and they remain central to NASA's research efforts today.
Data from NASA's Airborne Antarctic Ozone Experiment in 1987 "provided the smoking gun measurements that nailed down the cause of the ozone hole being the increase of CFCs combined with the unique meteorology of the Antarctic," Stolarski said. Since then, NASA has sponsored several airborne f
|Contact: Tabatha Thompson|
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center