Tag Archive | "ozone depletion"

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A New “Ozone Hole” at the North Pole

Posted on 21 October 2011 by Jerry

This is an update to the earlier story about the ozone depletion at the North Pole.  When we last looked (June 2, 2011) the ozone depletion had set a new record of 40%.  Unfortunately the colder weather at the higher altitudes lasted longer than expected making the chlorine chemicals that destroy ozone reach their most active level.  New data indicates the ozone loss reached 80% which makes the ozone loss over the North Pole equivalent to that already existing over the South Pole, in effect giving us two ozone holes to now worry about.

The good news may be that the extraordinary colder temperatures at the North Pole may return to warmer levels which will moderate a return of a fully fledged ozone hole in the North.  The temperatures at the North Pole did not set any record this year but the cold period lasted significantly longer and over a wider area.  The bad news is that unfortunately the winters that are cold have been getting colder which may once again bring us an ozone hole at the North Pole.  Again the ozone layer in the stratosphere blocks ultraviolet-B rays from the Sun that can cause skin cancer and other medical conditions.

Background: in Beyond Animal, Ego and Time, Chapter 10: Protect Live Imperative – Ozone Hole documents the development and discovery of the ozone hole over the Antarctic.  It also warns of continued use of ozone destroying chemicals, although not the worst kind, in the largest developing nations, India and China.  These countries were given an exception under the Montreal Protocol and its successors.

Use the following links for more information:

For an abstract of the original report in Nature go to http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature10556.html

For BBC news reports go to: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15105747?print=true


October 6, 2011, San Francisco, Ozone Hole


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