Temporal and spatial variabilities of total ozone column over Portugal

Antón M., Bortoli D., Costa M.J., Kulkarni P.S., Domingues A.F., Barriopedro D., Serrano A., Silva A.M.
Remote Sensing of Environment 115 855-863. doi:10.1016/j.rse.2010.11.013

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This paper focuses on the spatial-temporal structure of total ozone column (TOC) over Portugal. This relevant region of southwestern Europe has not been evaluated yet in detail due to the lack of continuous and wellcovered ground-based TOC measurements. The data used in this study are derived from the NASA's Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) for the period 1978-2005. The TOC spatial behavior shows no significant longitudinal variability (smaller than 3%). In contrast, the variation in latitude changes between 3.5% and 6% depending on the calendar month. The TOC in the northern Portugal is, on average, higher than that recorded in the South. The temporal variability was analyzed for three scales: long-term, seasonal and short-term. The long-term TOC changes are analyzed between 1978 and 1999 by means of linear least squares fits. The results show an annual TOC trend of (-2.65±0.70)%/decade which is statistically significant at the 95% confidence level. This TOC decrease is smaller than the trends obtained in other midlatitudes regions which could be partially explained by the compensation due to the observed increase in the tropospheric ozone over the Iberian Peninsula. A trend analysis performed for each individual month shows a statistically significant TOC decline between March and October, with a maximum linear trend value of (-7.30±1.45)%/decade in May. The amplitude of the seasonal TOC cycle over Portugal shows a slight dependence in latitude, varying from 28.6 DU (37.5° N) to 33.6 DU (41.5° N). Finally, the short-term variability showed a notable seasonal behavior, with maximum day-to-day TOC changes in winter (~6%) and minimum in summer (~3%). In addition, the persistence (characterized by the autocorrelation coefficients) strongly decreases after a few days (except in summer months).