Australian Weather Calendar

Captions and picture bylines below.
Weather observer Frank Bubic measures atmospheric ozone levels with a Dobson spectrophotometer. Ground-based winter observations of ozone over Melbourne since 1983 reflect the small global increase in ozone since 1996.

July: Monitoring ozone and solar radiation

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AT least four times a day, weather observer Frank Bubic wheels a bulky Dobson spectrophotometer into the open air to measure ozone concentrations above the weather station at Melbourne airport. Colleagues at Brisbane, Darwin and Macquarie Island take similar daily measurements of ozone at heights up to the stratosphere and beyond.

Ozone observations, together with solar and terrestrial (long-wave) energy and atmospheric aerosol observations, are among the Bureau’s lesser-known atmospheric monitoring activities. They are important for energy studies, human health (including skin cancer), climate research and agricultural analyses.

Bureau observers at Macquarie Island, Melbourne and Antarctica take ozone profiles up to 30,000 metres with weekly flights of balloon-borne ozone recorders. These ground-based observations support satellite data vital to the scientists piecing together the long-term behaviour of global ozone. The Montreal Protocol of 1987 resulted in a great reduction in the emission of ozone-depleting substances into the atmosphere. Global ozone ceased to decline around 1996 and is expected to slowly increase over coming decades.