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View Full Version : Smaller Ozone Hole This Year



Fraser
2005-Dec-08, 05:13 PM
SUMMARY: The ozone hole that developed above Antarctica looks smaller this year than previous years, based on observations from NASA's Aura satellite. The largest hole was measured in 1998; almost triple the size of 1985's hole. The temperature of the atmosphere above Antarctica seems to be one of the biggest factors deciding the size of the ozone hole - the colder it gets, the more ozone that's destroyed.

View full article (http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/aura_ozone_hole_smaller.html)
What do you think about this story? post your comments below.

jarany
2005-Dec-08, 09:42 PM
So what this article is saying we should heat up the arctic? Maybe Mr. Bush has been right all along..:) Good thing the US didn't sign up to Kyoto, otherwise we'd be creating a bigger hole.. The question remains, was there a hole 50 years ago? 100 years ago? 1000 years ago? Maybe this is a normal event..

Tacitus
2005-Dec-09, 08:53 AM
So what this article is saying we should heat up the arctic? Maybe Mr. Bush has been right all along..:) Good thing the US didn't sign up to Kyoto, otherwise we'd be creating a bigger hole.. The question remains, was there a hole 50 years ago? 100 years ago? 1000 years ago? Maybe this is a normal event..

I will be charitable and assume you were joking about Kyoto.

The answer to your questions is, of course, we don't know, but why would we want to take that chance? We were pumping tons of CFCs into the atmosphere and there was strong evidence that it was damaging to the ozone layer - something we can ill afford to be without. Hopefully we've done enough by banning these substances to prevent further losses to the ozone layer for now.

The issue of global warming is obviously more complex much tougher to solve. But the scientists are pretty much in unison these days that we are causing the Earth to warm up at an unprecedented rate (in recorded history, at least). Sure, we don't know with any degree of certainty what exactly will happen if we continue to pump out the carbon dioxide as we are, but again, why would we want to take that risk?

What's really alarming to me is the wilful ignorance coming from the right-wingers on this issue. They all seem to believe that fears about global warming is all a communist/environmentalist plot to take over the world. Pig-ignorant remarks like "well, it's 12 degrees outside tonight, where's that global warming when you need it?" are all over the right-wing forums. At least with issues like intelligent design some of them will stand up for the scientific consensus, but not for global warming. And considering the anti-science crowd that's in power right now, that's frightening.

JESMKS
2005-Dec-09, 06:40 PM
Would large ozone generators located and operated in Antartica tend to offset the effects of CFS?
Jack

Tacitus
2005-Dec-09, 09:02 PM
I doubt we understand enough yet to know if such an effort would work. But I did a quick search on the latest information, and it seems that scientists think that the ozone layer depletion has stopped and the layer will gradually recover until it is back to normal around 2050. Let's hope they're right about that.

One comment about carbon dioxide. While it's true that more CO2 will warm the atmosphere in general, the stratosphere is more likely to cool down as a result, so global warming could once again threaten the ozone layer, since a cooler stratosphere exacerbates the situation.

jarany
2005-Dec-10, 06:28 AM
Indeed I was joking about Kyoto.. It's interesting, because 8 states in the US setup their own Kyoto accord.. It's called Reggi or something and plans to cut co2.. In California they plan to cut 80% by 2050 which is quite amazing.. Of course, stupid american car companys are sueing to try to stop that.. Yet the Japaneese said the cuts were acceptable and they had already stuff in the pipeline geard for those cuts.. This was on a recent show in BBC World called Gas Muzzelers... Good info..

ArgoNavis
2007-Jan-27, 11:00 PM
I always understood that the science behind CFC's and ozone in the upper atmosphere was well understood.

but then I come across:

http://www.predictweather.com/ozone%20depletion/index.asp

which asserts that "Clear-cut evidence of ozone depletion is lacking. The entire theory is based on the supposition that somehow heavier-than-air CFC molecules rise into the stratosphere unimpeded."

I have also read that action taken so far to limit the production of freon gases should not have had such an immediate effect in reducing ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere. It was anticipated that the ozone would take longer to recover.

Was the ban on CFC's the right thing to do?

trinitree88
2007-Jan-27, 11:30 PM
[QUOTE=ArgoNavis;913964]I always understood that the science behind CFC's and ozone in the upper atmosphere was well understood.

but then I come across:

http://www.predictweather.com/ozone%20depletion/index.asp

which asserts that "Clear-cut evidence of ozone depletion is lacking. The entire theory is based on the supposition that somehow heavier-than-air CFC molecules rise into the stratosphere unimpeded."

I have also read that action taken so far to limit the production of freon gases should not have had such an immediate effect in reducing ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere. It was anticipated that the ozone would take longer to recover.

Argonavis: I once heard Mario Molina speak. (Wellesley College, AAPT Meeting, 92) of his discovery of the ozone depletion. He was searching fror a research topic, and thought a relative's electronics factory might offer a fruitful avenue. Seeing lots of CFC's used for degreasing, he expected they would end up as a chemical plume in the local groundwater. No such luck. When he traced down the escape route...it led to the atmosphere. CFC's dissociate in sunlight. The chlorine eventually forms chlorine monoxide which catalyzes rapid ozone depletion, and is regenerated in the reaction...hence only a trace is necessary for a substantial effect.
As to the argument that the high molecular weight, hence density of the gas might prohibit it's transport to high altitudes...it has been found that the depletion of corals in the Carribean is attributable not to local pollution, but fungal spores in dust transported there from Africa during Western-moving dust storms. They,too, are heavier than air.

pete