Skip to comments.Ozone layer shows signs of recovery: scientists
Posted on 05/03/2006 4:44:30 PM PDT by Nachum
LONDON (Reuters) - The ozone layer is showing signs of recovering, thanks to a drop in ozone-depleting chemicals, but it is unlikely to stabilize at pre-1980 levels, researchers said on Wednesday.
Depletion of the earth's protective ozone layer is caused by the chemical action of chlorine and bromine released by man-made chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are used in aerosol sprays and cooling equipment.
Ozone-depleting chemicals were banned by the 1987 Montreal Protocol which has now been ratified by 180 nations.
"We now have some confidence that the ozone layer is responding to the decreases in chlorine levels in the atmosphere due to the leveling off and decrease of CFCs," said Dr Betsy Weatherhead, of the University of Colorado in Boulder.
"Not only is the ozone layer getting better, we feel it is due to the Montreal Protocol," she added in an interview.
The depletion of the ozone layer, which absorbs most of the harmful effects of the sun's ultraviolet radiation, increases the risk of skin cancer and cataracts in humans and may harm crop yields and sea life.
Despite the signs of recovery, Weatherhead, who reported the findings in the journal Nature, said people should still protect themselves from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Weatherhead and Signe Bech Anderson of the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen analyzed data from satellites and ground stations and information from 14 modeling studies.
They found that ozone levels have stabilized or increased slightly in the past 10 years. But full recovery is still decades away.
The researchers said depletion has been most severe at the poles and to a lesser extent at mid-latitudes covering bands of North America, South America and Europe.
Shifting temperatures, greenhouse gases, nitrous oxide (N20) and atmospheric dynamics, which can influence ozone levels, are going to change in the future, they added.
"Therefore we really don't think ozone is going to stabilize back to its pre-ozone-depleting-substance levels," Weatherhead said.
Volcanic activity on Earth also has an impact. The 1993 Mount Pinatubo eruption in the Philippines caused ozone levels to backslide for several years, according to the researchers.
No doubt recovery is due to two factors:
We have cut way back on hair spray and spray paint.
So, can I tan now?
Ain't Science and Scientists wunnerful?
something in a name? LOL
The ozone hole expands/contracts/expands/contracts - been doing it longs I can remember - and I'm a great granny
Oh, it was only one of the dozens of volcanos and the CFC's that did it. I wonder if they are even aware of all the volcanic activity going on right now?
These people make real scientists look bad.
You can find data where there is none. IIRC it was the late 80s before they had good ways to measure statospheric ozone (good enough to see the south polar 'hole' anyhow).
I think sunspot activity also has an effect.
a helluva cold summer that year! and wicked winters
there was almost no to low sun spot activity during the coldest part of the Little Ice age - (about the mid 1300's to 1770's) and we are now heading into a high sun spot activity period...scientists (not the ones goreBore talks too) say that we are experiencing (and have been for the past 70 years) more sunspot activity than in the past 8000 years.
better get goreBore suited up. He needs to get up there and do something about it.
Thanks to John Edwards' loss...
Ooooooh Nooooooo! What are the enviro-whackos going to do now ..??
Could it be that we are not "punching six holes a year through it" with rockets going to view the damage of the ozone layer?
In my opinion most NASA flights of the shuttle caused more damage than all the R12 that was ever sold.
Did you read the article? It's because of environmental policies (insisted on by whackos - your term) that the levels have stabilized. Morons like you give conservatives a bad name. Next time, just don't comment. Sheesh...
And a heartfelt welcome to a very brand new poster, Greg Rn... /s
It is not good form to engage in name calling on your very first post.
But...........but............... who will protect us from "Man-Bear-Pig"?
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