State of Environment

Indicator 9 - Daily records of total column ozone at Macquarie Island

Index: Description | Data | Custodian evaluation | Related resources | Parameters


Indicator Definition
The monthly means of total column ozone measured at Macquarie Island.

Responsible organisation

Bureau of Meteorology, Department of the Environment and Heritage ( Australia )


No custodians.

Theme area


Indicator type

Condition Pressure

Criteria the indicator satisfies

The following 12 out of 15 criteria

1. Serve as a robust indicator of environmental change
2. Reflect a fundamental or highly-valued aspect of the environment or an important environmental issue
3. Be either national in scope or applicable to regional environmental issues of national significance
4. Provide an early warning of potential problems
5. Be capable of being monitored to provide statistically verifiable and reproducible data that shows trends over time and, preferably, apply to a broad range of environmental regions
6. Be scientifically credible
9. Be cost-effective
10. Have relevance to policy and management needs
11. Contribute to monitoring of progress towards implementing commitments in nationally important environmental policies
12. Where possible and appropriate, facilitate community involvement
13. Contribute to the fulfillment of reporting obligations under international agreements
15. Where possible and appropriate, be consistent and comparable with other countries´┐Ż and state and territory indicators

Date input

Daily measurements

Monitoring location

Geographic coverage

Rationale For Indicator Selection
Ozone filters ultra-violet (UV) radiation from the Sun and affects the
dynamics of the stratosphere and overall atmospheric radiation balance. With
reduction in stratospheric ozone levels, UV incidence on the surface has
serious ramifications for Antarctic and Southern Ocean biological systems.

Design and Strategy For Indicator Monitoring Program
Spatial Scale: Macquarie Island (lat 54deg 29' 59" S, long 158deg 57' 08" E).

Frequency: Annual report on monthly means of daily figures.

Measurement Technique: Global-scale daily analyses are produced by the Bureau
of Meteorology on a 2.5 - degree latitude by 2.5 - degree longitude grid,
using satellite data. In situ Dobson spectrophotometer measurements at
Macquarie Island in conjunction with major centres in Australia provide
benchmark and calibration data of total-column ozone.

Macquarie Island is the only station situated under the Antarctic Ozone hole,
providing an important contribution to ozone monitoring activities.

Research Issues
The traceable data set may be extended back a few years before 1978 but
cannot go much further back with any confidence.

When Dobson measurements began seriously in 1955, there was no traceability of
instrument standards. Each instrument was calibrated absolutely rather than by
the hierarchy of standards, beginning in 1978. In the initial measurement
program, ozone measurements were used mainly for day-to-day variations - the
idea of using Dobsons for a long-term trend in ozone was not an objective.
Consequently the need for properly referenced instruments was not a high
priority. The difficult mechanism of applying standards was not in place when
measurements started in 1956.


Temporal range of the available data, as described by the metadata record, is from 30-Sep-1996 to 31-Mar-1998.

7-July-1957 to 29-February-2020
Number of data points

To view or download any of the data, you must be logged in

Data quality, interpretation and analysis of indicator data

Data usage constraints

' This data set conforms to the PICCCBY Attribution License ( Please follow instructions listed in the citation reference provided at when using these data. '

Data access constraints

' These data are publicly available for download from the URL given below. '

Custodian evaluation

7 Aug 2002

For the first quarter of this year total column ozone values at Macquarie Island remained slightly lower than average for the period 1985 to 2001. Since then daily values have gradually increased to slightly above average. It is too early to say if this is an indication of a recovery of the ozone layer or just an aberration due to the El Nino year we are experiencing. Note the data before 1985 is not traceable to our Regional Standard Dobson. While the pre 1985 data remains the best estimate of data available, there were known problems that are unlikely to be addressed properly for many years.

14 Nov 2002

Condition scale - 5
1 - the environment degraded to the point where rehabilitation is impossible
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
7 - the environment is pristine, in perfect condition, no anthropogenic influences
Pressure scale - 3
1 - undetectable external pressure on the environment
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
7 - extreme external pressure on the environment, degradation accelerating
State of Knowledge scale - 5
1 - Poor
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
7 - Excellent

For definitions of the Scale categories, consult the Explanation of the Status Categories

Related resources

Project 512 - A Study of Possible Tropospheric Triggering of Ozone Depletion in the Antarctic Stratosphere
Project 863 - Ozone Measurements at Macquarie Island
Project 965 - Variations of stratospheric ozone at Macquarie Island
Scientific Bibliography 17312 - Fraser, P. (1997) Chemistry of Stratospheric Ozone and Ozone Depletion Aust. Meteor. Mag., 46, 185-193.
SOE Indicator 10 - Daily broad-band ultra-violet radiation observations using biologically effective UVR detectors
SOE Indicator 13 - Polar stratospheric cloud observations at Davis


The properties link can be used to view details of the parameters measured for this indicator.

Parameter Name Unit of measure Properties
Total column ozone DU Properties

The following parameters and/or sensor notes are from the metadata record.



Related URLs
Citation reference for this metadata record and dataset
Download page for Australian Antarctic Data Centre
Daily TOMS column ozone amounts are available from NASA