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View Full Version : Discussion: Strange Ozone Hole this Year



Fraser
2005-Jun-04, 12:05 AM
SUMMARY: Even through large levels of ozone were destroyed in the Earth's atmosphere this winter, NASA's Aura spacecraft detected that the ozone layer is actually looking quite healthy above the arctic, and did its job stopping harmful ultraviolet radiation. This strange paradox is explained by a very unusual winter in the Arctic, where stratospheric winds brought in large quantities of ozone from the Earth's middle latitudes. This was the first winter monitored by Aura, which was launched in 2004.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/strange_ozone_hole.html)

What do you think about this story? Post your comments below.

om@umr.edu
2005-Jun-04, 02:04 AM
This simply confirms that there are far too many variables for us to predict weather.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

Matthew
2005-Jun-04, 02:53 AM
We can predict the weather. To a point. Its all on how much accuracy you want.

damienpaul
2005-Jun-04, 04:58 AM
and this accuracy improves with better understanding of teh processes involved in not only the macroscale, but in the meso- and microscales

aesetab
2005-Jun-04, 09:18 AM
As knowledge advances so are new things learned. The article says that the measurements were the first. The politically correct, left win, doomsters suddenly take a first observation and cry "wolf". We just do not know enough about the distribution and behaviour of the ozone layer in the area. We must wait until sufficient evidence accumulates to allow rational conclusions to be drawn. Oh, how hard is the path of the pioneer!

antoniseb
2005-Jun-04, 10:54 AM
Originally posted by aesetab@Jun 4 2005, 09:18 AM
The politically correct, left wing, doomsters suddenly take a first observation and cry "wolf".
Hi aesetab, welcome to the UT forum.

While the rest of your observation about pioneers in understanding are interesting, we have a rule that forbids this kind of political statement. Since this is your first post, I have left it up, and you're in no trouble for it, but the hope is that all posts will be about astronomy, and none will be written that pick fights with any subset of the forum members (including left-wing environmentalists).

om@umr.edu
2005-Jun-04, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by antoniseb@Jun 4 2005, 10:54 AM
but the hope is that all posts will be about astronomy, and none will be written that pick fights with any subset of the forum members (including left-wing environmentalists).
Anton.

I requested clarification of the term you used, "left-wing environmentalists", but my message was deleted.

If you did that, please explain.

I honestly do not know what anyone means by "left-wing environmentalists" or "right-wing environmentalists".

Thanks,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

antoniseb
2005-Jun-04, 12:15 PM
Originally posted by om@umr.edu@Jun 4 2005, 12:02 PM
my message was deleted.
If you did that, please explain.
I didn't do it (and also didn't see it).

BTW, I used the phrase left-wing environmentalists as a softer form of aesetab's phrase politically correct, left wing, doomsters. I don't plan to discuss this further, since I'd rather keep this forum on topic.

om@umr.edu
2005-Jun-04, 01:59 PM
Originally posted by antoniseb@Jun 4 2005, 12:15 PM
I don't plan to discuss this further, since I'd rather keep this forum on topic.
I agree, Anton.

I suspect our minds like to simplify complex issues by classifying them in either one or the other of two opposite categories:

"left" versus "right"

etc.

Returning to topic, there are far too many variables for us to be able to unambigiously predict what causes changes in Earth's climate.

Personally, I am pleased that scientists are considering possible influences of mankind's insane industrail activity on Earth's climate, but I fear that many have jumped to conclusions that are based more on fears (insecurities) than on experimental evidence.

With kind regards,

Oliver
http://www.umr.edu/~om

antoniseb
2005-Jun-04, 02:28 PM
Originally posted by om@umr.edu@Jun 4 2005, 01:59 PM
there are far too many variables for us to be able to unambigiously predict what causes changes in Earth's climate.
In terms of the ozone hole, the general idea was that chloro-floro-carbons, and various compounds we use as refrigerants contributed to the destruction of the ozone in the polar regions. I do not know what the evidence was supporting this, but the fact that we are still working to try and reduce production of these compounds tells me that it is still generally believed that this is an important factor.

The fact that sheep in Tierra dell Feugo and the Falklands didn't start going blind until after we started making Freon in quantity is more strong (but perhaps not defining) evidence for this.

Yes it is likely that there are other contributing factors, and solar activity is another big possibility. Do you have a list of other factors you think are part of the ozone depletion? How would you weight the probable importance of each?

Guest
2005-Jun-04, 04:19 PM
The authors make a flat statement:

"Ozone loss in Earth's stratosphere is caused primarily by chemical reactions with chlorine from human-produced compounds"

This is simply not true. Even a cursory search will show that "nature" emits huge quantities of halogenated hydrocarbons. Then there is aerosolized sea salt. It has not been definitevely determined what portion of ozone depletion is due to man's activities. Bottom line, these researchers have made a political statement, not a science statement. That is inappropriate.

aeolus
2005-Jun-04, 06:15 PM
Originally posted by Guest@Jun 4 2005, 04:19 PM
The authors make a flat statement:

"Ozone loss in Earth's stratosphere is caused primarily by chemical reactions with chlorine from human-produced compounds"

This is simply not true. Even a cursory search will show that "nature" emits huge quantities of halogenated hydrocarbons. Then there is aerosolized sea salt. It has not been definitevely determined what portion of ozone depletion is due to man's activities. Bottom line, these researchers have made a political statement, not a science statement. That is inappropriate.
The preceeding poster also makes a flat statement:

"This is simply not true"

non sequiter. There is no more proof that ozone depletion is not caused primarily by human-produced compounds than there is proof that it is caused by human-produced compounds.

The subject merits more study. That's what I think, that's my statement, and I think that one is pretty solid.

merlinhoot
2005-Jun-05, 05:34 AM
This is good news for Australia
which has the highest skin cancer rate in the world (http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SYD110131.htm) three times that of the United States and six times higher than Britain.

Greg
2005-Jun-06, 02:32 AM
Before this thread goes off the deep end and degenerates into heresay arguments, I want to substantiate the facts for everyone to assess for themselves. I shall try to maintain as neutral a stance as possible in this instance.
http://www.al.noaa.gov/WWWHD/pubdocs/Asses...ent98/faq2.html (http://www.al.noaa.gov/WWWHD/pubdocs/Assessment98/faq2.html)
The above link should answer any questions that you might have about the evidence based observations that the vast majority of the scientific community espouses on this topic. The mechanism is outlined with numerous observations to back it up.
I will summarize. The principal mechanism proposed involves a reaction of chlorinated hydrocarbons with ozone in the atmosphere. The reaction was verified in lab experiments as one that occurs naturally. These reaction produces a telltale compound, chlorine monoxide. In numerous atmospheric experiments ( involving over 300 researchers according to the website I linked to) the byproduct of this reaction is found to precisely overlay regions of measured ozone depletion. That compound is not found in any abunance (more than barely traceable amounts) in any other area of the Earth. Given this wealth of data and overwhelming evidence, there are hardly any scientists who would question the conclusions once aware of the data. Even if you considered some kind of conspiracy, these are a diverse lot of reasearchers functioning independently, reaching the same conclusions.
So decide for yourself what you think of the data I have provided access to. If you are going to make an argument, please do so in reference to the facts as they are understood by the scientific community, why they are wrong, and discuss an alternative solution accounting for the observations made.

makrand shukla
2005-Jun-06, 02:00 PM
Hole
in ozone being discuss since more than decade. it is bound change envirement in this universe. human power can do enough to plug this hole. ithink so far no, can man do this? if yes, how far we reach?

flashgordon1952
2005-Jun-06, 04:17 PM
it is still worrying ! that the ozone layer has been damaged ! is it possible to build or make a man made ozone layer that does the same job ? Because the speed of the damage being made by man We have to find an alternative and very soon

Greg
2005-Jun-06, 06:48 PM
In the FAQ list on the website I liked to, there is a section on the prognosis of the ozone layer.
In 1985 an international convention hosted in Vienna established the time table for the elimination of products of production processes that released cfcs. Industrialized countries were to cease production by 2000, and to my knowledge all have complied based on the unequivocal strength of the evidence. All other nations are expected to comply by 2010. So it is very likely that some amount of cfcs is still reaching the ozone layer today. The outlook, however is good. The cfcs will naturally degrade slowly over time. By the year 2150 there should no longer be any depletion, in other words it should make a full recovery by then. In the meantime it is being watched closely for unexpected deterioration, and so far everything has played out as expected and there has not been much imporvement nor worsening of the problem.

antoniseb
2005-Jun-06, 06:57 PM
Thanks for the feedback Greg.

Greg
2005-Jun-06, 07:52 PM
I should add that there can be considerable seasonal variation in the size of the antarctic ozone hole based on which weather pattern is dominant over antarctica each year. You will see media reports from time to time claiming the ozone hole is larger or smaller for a certain year, but the key trend to follow is the average depletion over a span of years, which to my knowledge hasn't shown an appreciable trend either way. This tells us that the treaty has been a success in that the pattern of worsening depletion has stopped. Due to the relative stability of the compound, significant improvements in ozone levels probably most likely begin to show up at 10 to 20 year intervals. With any luck there will be unexpected mechanisms generating ozone and it the layer will be repleted sooner.
Either way, the whole process has generated and will continue to generate alot of research that will enhance our understanding of the ozone layer, which is crucial to sustaining life on our planet.