THE CEOS DATABASE : Missions, Instruments and Measurements
DomainAtmosphericDescriptionOzone (O3) is a short-lived greenhouse gas whose changes since the pre-industrial era due to emissions of precursor species contribute to a tropospheric radiative forcing that is larger than that of N20 but less than that of methane. Ozone is a harmful pollutant when present near the Earth’s surface.

Ozone is also the most important radiatively active trace gas in the stratosphere and essentially determines the vertical temperature profile there. Ozone limits the amount of harmful UV radiation reaching the surface. Chemical depletion of stratospheric ozone, and ozone chemistry more generally from the surface to the mesosphere, are influenced by atmospheric temperature, by several of the species covered by the atmospheric composition ECVs and by polar stratospheric clouds. Ozone is influenced by atmospheric dynamics, but in turn influences dynamics via radiative heating. Chemical depletion caused low springtime values of ozone to develop increasingly in the 1980s and 1990s over or near the South Pole (forming the so-called ozone hole). Behaviour over that period and since is also characterised by marked interannual variations. [GCOS-195 4.7.4]
Full NameOzone
Satellite Signficant ContributionYes
GCOS Actions
DescriptionWhoTime FramePerformance IndicatorCost Implications
Establish long-term limb-scanning satellite measurement of profiles of water vapour, ozone and other important species from the UT/LS up to 50 km.Space agencies, in conjunction with WMO GAW.Ongoing, with urgency in initial planning to minimize data gap.Continuity of UT/LS and upper stratospheric data records.100-300M US$ (including mission costs) (Mainly by Annex-I Parties).
Continue production of satellite ozone data records (column, tropospheric ozone and ozone profiles) suitable for studies of interannual variability and trend analysis. Reconcile residual differences between ozone datasets produced by different satellite systems.Space agencies.OngoingStatistics on availability and quality of data.10-30M US$ (Mainly by Annex-I Parties).
*GCOS-195 Status Categories: Category A: Action completed, perhaps exceeding reasonable expectations. Very good progress on ongoing tasks. Category B: Action largely completed according to expectation. Good progress on ongoing tasks. Category C: Moderate progress overall, although progress may be good for some part of the action. Category D: Limited progress overall, although progress may be moderate or good for some part of the action. Category E: Very little or no progress, or deterioration rather than progress.
GCOS Products
Related Measurements/
from CEOS DB
A.9.1Total column ozoneTotal ozone
Tropospheric ozone
Ozone profile in upper troposphere and lower stratosphere
Ozone profile in upper stratosphere and mesosphere
Ozone profile
A.9.2Tropospheric ozoneTotal ozone
Tropospheric ozone
Ozone profile in upper troposphere and lower stratosphere
Ozone profile in upper stratosphere and mesosphere
Ozone profile
A.9.3Ozone profiles from upper troposphere to mesosphereTotal ozone
Tropospheric ozone
Ozone profile in upper troposphere and lower stratosphere
Ozone profile in upper stratosphere and mesosphere
Ozone profile
CEOS Response[A26 (A.9.3, A.5.2, A.8.1)]

2015 Update: The Canadian Space Agency approved the continuation of the SCISAT mission through the end of 2015. The atmospheric chemistry experiment (ACE) Fourier transform infrared spectrometer is unique in its ability to make measurements of upper atmosphere chemistry in the trace gases responsible for ozone depletion. A complete review of this experiment can be found at the following website

Limb Sounding Mission Gap

Participants in the CEOS Atmospheric Chemistry Virtual Constellation meeting of 2014 recognize the significance of the looming gap in limb sounding data. Following the demise of the currently operating but aging instruments:
  • MLS on Aura (microwave emission),
  • SMR (microwave emission) on Odin,
  • OSIRIS (limb scatter UV-Vis-NIR) on Odin,
  • ACE-FTS (solar occultation IR) on SCISAT, and
  • ACE-MAESTRO (solar occultation UV-Vis-NIR) on SCISAT,
the only limb sounding instruments will be:
  • OMPS Limb Profiler on Suomi-NPP (limb scatter UV-Vis-NIR),
  • SAGE-III/ISS (solar occultation & limb scatter UV-Vis-NIR, planned for 2016),
  • OMPS Limb Profiler on JPSS-2 (limb scatter UV-Vis-NIR, planned for ~2021).
Specific Deliverable #2
Maximize use of existing sensors and develop a collaborative framework to advocate and facilitate near-term calibration/validation activities and other coordinated science team planning for near-term space-based missions with limb sounding capability (e.g., to include, but not limited to, Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment (SAGE) III-ISS and Sentinel 5-Precursor) to maximize scientific output.

[A32 (A.9.1, A.9.2, A.9.3)]

2015 Update: 1. Total Ozone
1.a. NOAA Instruments on Polar Orbiters at 13:30.

The last remaining SBUV/2 on NOAA-19 POES is working well but its orbit has drifted past 2:00 PM Equator- crossing time and is headed even later. It has had some minor problems with one of the reflectivity channles but is continuing the long-term SBUV/2 total ozone record.

The OMPS Nadir Mapper on S-NPP is working very well. It is a stable instrument and on-board monitoring is providing calibration characterization that is expected to meet its stability requirement of 1% over the lifetime of the mission. We have added procedures to make stray light and wavelength scale correction using both on- ground characterization and in-orbit consistency checks to generate accurate level 1 products with high signal to noise ratios. Comparisons of reprocessed data sets for the first three years (provide by the NASA Ozone PEATE) show a total ozone record that that meets the 2% accuracy target. Its horizontal resolution is currently 50 KM at nadir and increases with viewing angle. We expect to implement the V8 Total Ozone algorithm in operations (in place of the current algorithm) and make soft calibration adjustments to the Level 1 product at the same time to produce a close to CDR quality operational product within the next year. (Aside: The adaptation of the V8 total ozone algorithm for use with OMPS was supported by an NCDC project.)

The next OMPS Nadir Mapper will be launched on JPSS-1 in 2017. It has passed its pre-shipment review. We expect to increase the horizontal resolution by a factor of three (to ~17 KM at nadir) but maintain the accuracy and stability of the products. This will be followed by a third and final OMPS on JPSS-2. ... more ...

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