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Ozone Layer. Good News, Bad News.

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posted on May, 4 2006 @ 10:00 AM
Researchers in Denmark and the U.S. have found that the ozone layer showed signs of stabilizing or increasing slightly for the past 10 years but it's unlikely to recover to a level observed before 1980.

An international agreement to limit ozone-depleting chemicals appears to be helping the ozone layer to recover, but it is unlikely to be restored to pre-1980 levels, a new study suggests.

Ozone in the Earth's stratosphere filters out ultraviolet light from the sun, and helps to protect DNA from damage.

Ozone depletion is linked to a higher risk of skin cancer and cataracts in humans, and harmful effects on plants.

posted on May, 5 2006 @ 03:37 AM
Here is an interesting counter published yesterday by the British science journal Nature:

Worries about ozone layer not yet over: Report

But the latest study, published today in the British science journal Nature, warns that this conclusion could be hasty as it is based on short-term data.

It notes that the data comes from a period of calm in major volcanic eruptions. For instance, Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991 and El Chichon in Mexico in 1982 disgorged ozone-destroying sulphates into the upper atmosphere.

And, it adds, big bursts of solar activity, which generally run in 11-year cycles, can also cause local depletions of the ozone layer. The last solar peak was in 1999-2003.

Neither of these big events has been properly factored in, which suggests that the image of stabilisation, and the prospect of early restoration, could be wrong.

I also ran into this interesting story, just released, which is slightly unrelated to either study:

Giant ozone hole may be forming over Tibet, experts warn

Chinese scientists have warned a 2.5-million-square-kilometer (one-million-square-mile) ozone hole may be forming over the Tibetan plateau.

While it does not yet qualify as a regular ozone hole, like the ones over the two poles, the area has seen a dramatic drop in ozone density in recent years, the Xinhua news agency said on Thursday, citing China's Scientific Report journal.

The decrease in ozone over the plateau was caused by atmospheric air movements rather than the global greenhouse effect, Xinhua quoted the journal as saying.


Fascinating subject.

Good find, Umbrax.

posted on May, 5 2006 @ 04:02 AM
I find it amazing that we aren't doing anything more about the ozone layer - but then again I suppose that fits right in with our ignorance of nuclear waste and deforestation.

This development over Tibet does not sound good. Thus far, we have only observed a hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica and the lower part of Australia, right where I live. Great.

We are facing a very grim situation with our ozone. It saves us from horrible sunburn / cancer, and generally regulates the amount of light and its additives the plants receive.

A lot of people don't seem to appreciate just how much we rely on it. I think we're all wrapped up with all this new technology, and fail to notice the things that have been around for millions of years that yet still manage to outclass even the most modern of inventions.

edit: i dunno how to type proper

[edit on 5/5/2006 by watch_the_rocks]

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