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Record low temperatures in Arctic ozone layer - causing ozone loss

  1. Apr 9, 2007 #1


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    Staff: Mentor

    It seems the colder artic winters have been causing ozone damage. Warmer weather stops the ozone damage.

    Go Figure.

    "The first signs of ozone loss have now been observed in the Arctic this winter, and large scale losses are expected to occur if the cold conditions persist. Overall temperatures in the ozone layer are the lowest for 50 years having been consistently low for the past two months.

    Since late November large areas of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) - clouds in the ozone layer - have been present over the Arctic region at altitudes around 20 kilometres. They are now the largest in the last 20 years, the period when the ozone-depleting compounds have been high. These conditions could make ozone depletion very likely.

    The chemical balance in the stratosphere is changed significantly by the presence of these clouds, altering the breakdown products from CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) so that rapid chemical ozone destruction can occur in the presence of sunlight. If the Arctic stratosphere remains cold during February and March, large ozone loss is expected to take place as sunlight returns to northern latitudes. This could lead to increased levels of ultraviolet radiation in inhabited areas in the northern part of Europe."

  2. jcsd
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