The Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite provides measurements of total column ozone, which is how much ozone is present in a column of the atmosphere stretching from the surface to the top of the atmosphere. Therefore, it includes both ground-level and stratospheric ozone. Ground-level ozone is especially common in industrialized areas during the summertime, and winds can blow ozone from urban areas into neighboring areas. Stratospheric ozone, however, absorbs harmful ultraviolet radiation known as UV-B. Because of stratospheric ozone’s protective function, the “ozone hole” over Earth’s southern polar region has concerned scientists since the late 1970s.
NEO now provides daily, weekly, and monthly composites of total column ozone from October 2004 to present.