Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Fwd: Re: Ozone layer could develop hole over Britain, scientists warn

Expand Messages
  • Pat Neuman
    ... Excerpt: The ozone layer is weakened from being attacked by CFCs and other ozone-destroying pollutants, more radiation gets through to cause skin cancer
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6, 2005
    • 0 Attachment
      --- In fuelcell-energy@yahoogroups.com, "Pat Neuman" <npat1@j...> wrote:

      ---

      Excerpt:
      The ozone layer "is weakened from being attacked by CFCs and other
      ozone-destroying pollutants, more radiation gets through to cause skin
      cancer and cataracts, damage crops and kill the plankton that are the
      basis of marine life."


      My comment: The ozone layer thins as temperatures in the stratosphere
      decrease. Temperatures in the stratosphere decrease as greenhouse
      gases in the troposphere get heavier. As global warming worsens more
      radiation gets through to cause skin cancer, ... kill the plankton
      that are the basis of marine life. Thus, a thinned ozone layer may
      have contributed to previous global warming extinctions (late Permian
      250 mya, Cenomanian 100 mya, Paleocene/Eocene 55 mya) - due to very
      cold stratospheric conditions, with non-anthropogenic ozone-destroying
      elements that existed at some level of concentration in the
      stratosphere during pre-human eras ... even water vapor can be an
      ozone-destroying element.

      Pat N


      > --- In fuelcell-energy@yahoogroups.com, janson1997 wrote...
      >

      Ozone layer could develop hole over Britain, scientists warn

      Destruction of protective gas means greater risk of skin cancer and
      cataracts. Geoffrey Lean reports
      06 March 2005

      Scientists will tomorrow fly a spy plane high into the world's
      protective ozone layer, amid increasing fears that it may be about to
      develop a hole over Britain and northern Europe.

      The old Russian Cold War plane will take off from near Munich in a
      EU-funded mission to check reports that the stratosphere over the
      northern hemisphere faces rapid ozone destruction over the next few
      weeks. If the hole developed, people living under it would be at
      increased risk of skin cancer and cataracts, the main cause of blindness.

      The danger - which will also be assessed by scientists meeting in
      Zurich this week - has been provoked by the coldest winter on record
      about 12 miles above the Arctic, setting up ideal conditions for the
      destruction of the ozone layer. It is linked with global warming - as
      the atmosphere nearer the Earth warms, the stratosphere cools.

      The ozone layer - a scattering of the blue-tinged gas through the
      21-mile deep stratosphere which is so thin that if collected together
      it would form a girdle round the Earth no thicker than the sole of a
      shoe - screens out harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

      Without it, no terrestrial life would be possible. But, as it is
      weakened from being attacked by CFCs and other ozone-destroying
      pollutants, more radiation gets though to cause skin cancer and
      cataracts, damage crops and kill the plankton that are the basis of
      marine life.

      For over 20 years, a hole as big as the US and as high as Mount
      Everest has opened up over Antarctica every southern spring. But,
      since the continent is almost entirely uninhabited, the hole has posed
      little danger to human health - though skin cancer rates in southern
      Chile, the only populated area under the hole, are three times as high
      as elsewhere.

      For just as long, scientists have feared that a similar hole would
      open up over the Arctic, with serious implications for human health
      since it would be over densely populated areas in Britain, northern
      Europe, North America and Russia. So far, it has not formed largely
      because the Arctic does not get as cold as the Antarctic. But this
      year temperatures have been lower than at any time since records began
      and there are more special "polar stratospheric clouds" - essential to
      the process of ozone depletion - than at any time since pollution
      began threatening the ozone.

      The EU says: "The concern is that the Arctic appears to be moving into
      Antarctic-like conditions, which will result in an increase in
      ultraviolet radiation levels that will have consequences on human
      health in northern hemisphere countries."

      Dr Neil Harris of the European Ozone Research Co-ordinating Unit in
      Cambridge says ozone levels in the Arctic are 40 per cent lower than
      normal for this time of year. But scientists are divided on the
      likelihood of a hole developing. The crunch will come in the next few
      weeks, when sunlight - which plays a key role in destruction - returns
      after the dark Arctic winter.

      If the hole does form, the risk to people will depend on weather
      conditions and other local factors, Dr Harris says. For example,
      clouds will shield people from radiation, while sunny days will expose
      them to it. But, even at its worst, the depletion is likely to be only
      half as severe as over Antarctica.

      While the intensely cold "vortex" that forms the hole stays in the
      same place in Antarctica, in the northern hemisphere it wanders about.
      At the moment, it is over northern Europe, including Britain.

      http://news.independent.co.uk/low_res/story.jsp?story=617253&host=3&dir=507

      j2997

      ---
      --- End forwarded message ---
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.