Friday, May 07, 2010

The Ozone Hole - what happened to it?

The ozone layer has also thinned over the North Pole. This thinning is predicted to continue for the next 15 years due to weather-related phenomena that scientists still cannot fully explain, according to the same UN report . And, repairing the ozone hole over the South Pole will take longer than previously expected, and won't finish until between 2060 and 2075. Scientists now understand that the size of the ozone hole varies dramatically from year to year, which complicates attempts to accurately predict the hole's future size.

SHOOT: There's a link between the ozone hole and global warming. That should send shivers up your spine. We can dosomething about aerosols, but if temperatures rise and they are, it's very hard to turn that around without having to wait decades for the feedback loops to wear off.
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The downtown Los Angeles skyline is seen as traffic passes on the Route 2 Freeway Wednesday, April 28, 2010. Six in 10 Americans - about 175 million p

Three British scientists shocked the world when they revealed on May 16th,  1985 -25 years ago - that aerosol chemicals, among other factors, had torn a hole in the ozone layer over the South Pole. The ozone layer, which protects life on Earth from damaging solar radiation, became an overnight sensation. And the hole in the ozone layer became the poster-child for mankind's impact on the planet.

Today, the ozone  hole -  actually a region of thinned ozone, not actually a pure hole - doesn't make headlines like it used to. The size of the hole has stabilized, thanks to decades of aerosol-banning legislation. But, scientists warn, some danger still remains.

Interestingly, recent studies have shown that the size of the ozone hole affects the global temperature. Closing the ozone hole actually speeds up the melting of the polar ice caps, according to a 2009 study from Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research.
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