It is expected that the effect of measures implemented to protect the ozone layer is going to become apparent in the early 21st century, with concentrations of ozone-depleting substances in the stratosphere having reached peak levels, and then showing its trend of decrease. Since the ozone layer in the stratosphere above the polar regions (at the high latitudes) is regarded as the portion most noticeably affected by a variety of factors, the following observations and researches all contribute greatly to predicting and verifying future changes in the ozone layer: observation of the ozone layer using satellite-borne sensors aimed mainly at the high latitudes and ground-based remote sensing equipments, and data analysis to monitor changes in the ozone layer and provide data for clarifying the mechanisms of ozone layer depletion both domestically and internationally, coupled with investigations on mechanisms of ozone layer changes. To this end, in conjunction with the Center for Global Environment Research's efforts to monitor the global environment, three research teams are working together to conduct research in the following areas.
- Satellite Remote Sensing Research Team
- The Ministry of the Environment has been developing two satellite sensors, the "Improved Limb Atmospheric Spectrometer-II" (ILAS-II) and the "Solar-Occultation Fourier-Transform Spectrometer for Inclined-Orbit Satellite" (SOFIS). The ILAS-II is scheduled to launch in 2002. Along with these sensors, this team is proceeding research on the following areas: system development for processing ILAS-II data; development of data processing algorithms; actual data processing; validation analysis; verification for scientific use; data provision; and related research. Furthermore, the team has started the research on SOFIS data processing to prepare for the expected satellite launch in 2007.
Ground-Based Remote Sensing Research Team
- This team continues observations of the ozone layer using ground-based remote sensors such as millimeter-wave radiometers, conducting further intercomparisons, reanalyzing data, and assessing their validity. The validated data are used to clarify the short-term and long-term variations of the ozone layer as well as their mechanisms. These data are provided to both national and international science communities.
Ozone Layer Modeling Research Team
- This team is conducting analytic research on chemical and physical processes in the stratosphere by utilizing various observation data and a 3-D chemical transport model. The team is also developing a 3-D general circulation model including stratospheric processes with the cooperation of CCSR, the University of Tokyo. Furthermore, the team is measuring chemical kinetic and photochemical data for the stratospheric modeling.