Massive Expansion Of Arctic Ozone Hole

This chart shows the levels of ozone above the Arctic on 19 March 2010 (left) and 2011 (right), the latter showing about a 50% drop. Photograph: OMI/Aura/NASA

This chart shows the levels of ozone above the Arctic on 19 March 2010 (left) and 2011 (right), the latter showing about a 50% drop. Photograph: OMI/Aura/NASA

Scientists report that ozone holes of similar size have opened up above the Arctic and Antarctic for the first time. Report from Reuters via the Guardian:

A huge hole that appeared in the Earth’s protective ozone layer above the Arctic in 2011 was the largest recorded in the northern hemisphere, though the sudden appearance of the hole was not due to man-made causes, scientists said in a report on Monday.

The ozone layer high in the stratosphere acts like a giant shield against the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can cause skin cancer and cataracts. Since the 1980s, scientists have charted the size of the ozone hole every summer above the Antarctic.

Some years, the holes have been so large that they covered the entire continent and stretched to parts of South America.

During extreme events, up to 70% of the ozone layer can be destroyed, before it recovers months later. The hole above the Arctic was always much smaller – until March this year, when a combination of powerful wind patterns and intense cold temperatures high up in the atmosphere created the right conditions for already-present, ozone-eating chlorine chemicals to damage the layer.

The findings, reported on Monday in the journal Nature, show that the hole had opened over northern Russia, parts of Greenland, and Norway, meaning people in these areas were likely to have been exposed to high levels of UV radiation.

“The chemical ozone destruction over the Arctic in early 2011 was, for the first time in the observational record, comparable to that in the Antarctic ozone hole,” say the scientists, led by Gloria Manney of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California…

[continues at the Guardian]

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  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    What!? Record levels of Arctic Ozone depletion following a volcano eruption in Iceland?

    How can this be?

    Actually, the real mystery is that they’re not blaming it on my under arm deodorant this time…

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    What!? Record levels of Arctic Ozone depletion following a volcano eruption in Iceland?

    How can this be?

    Actually, the real mystery is that they’re not blaming it on my under arm deodorant this time…

    • chinagreenelvis

      You say that as if it wasn’t responsible for ozone depletion before.

      http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/sc_fact.html

      • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

        Yeah, it’s almost like I’m saying it has something to do with volcanoes too.

        http://www.pnas.org/content/99/5/2609.full

        • dumbsaint

          Why the need for the line about your ‘mystery’ then? That’s what China was replying to. You sound suspicious of the idea that aerosols were ever to blame.

          On a side note there’s no actual mystery. CFCs were banned from aerosols in the 90s.

          • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

            Yeah, I have suspicions that the Antarctic Ozone Hole wasn’t wholly caused by my choice of underarm deodorant.

            They replaced the original cfc propellant with some other crap, that’s fine and should have been done. No problems there.

            Meanwhile the party line is that volcanoes don’t actually contribute to ozone depletion.

            Now there’s significant new ozone depletion. Can’t blame it on volcanoes and cfc levels are declining so we can’t put the blame there.

            Time to revert back to “Your cosmetics are ruining the planet”, or whatever trope seems most likely to gain traction.

            I’m sure that it would have been tied back into Global Warming already, if it wasn’t for that fact that cold seems to contribute to ozone destruction.

            Perhaps we can start saying that the Global Warming is leading to increasingly severe global weather patterns/fluctuations and THAT’S what’s causing more cold air to mix in, leading to ozone depletion.

            I’ll run some simulations on my Etch-A-Sketch later to confirm the theory. We can just assume it’s true in the meantime.

            I’m amazed I need to spell this sort of thing out…

          • dumbsaint

            Scientists aren’t out to get one over on you mate. They don’t arbitrarily assign blame to things. They were absolutely right about our use of CFCs and how our cutting back on them would slow the hole over the antarctic, regardless of any volcanic aerosols involved. What possible reason would they have for lying about the cause of this new development?

            Distrust of science is moronic. The only thing these guys have is their credibility, without that their fairly unglamorous career is over.

          • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

            Whew…

            I’m glad there’s nothing to worry about. Everything is under control? Our best experts are on the case? Good. Good.

            It’s just that I’ve lived long enough and read enough to know that in the past Scientists have made some pretty serious mistakes. I’m glad to hear that those mistakes couldn’t have been intentional.

            What a relief.

            Cause I’d be pretty worried if back when they were practicing Eugenics science (which was in my lifetime) here in the States, they had some sort of agenda they were working on. Some agenda other than “Scientific Truth”. Glad to know that was just incompetence. My ex-girlfriend who got a court ordered sterilization because she dropped out of high school will be real relieved.

            And that Lamarkian Inheritance that later morphed into Soviet Lysenkoism and then Chinese Lysenkoism. Yeah, glad that was just a mistake and there was no intentional misrepresentations involved in that whole mess. The people who got murdered over that will be relieved, I’m sure.

            That whole Archaeoraptor thing? Yeah, glad to know that was just a mistake and there was no falsification of data involved.

            When we let those Tuskegee test subjects go untreated for syphilis for decades after a reliable cure was known… Well I’m sure they’ll be very forgiving of the people running that study. “Sorry, we were just incompetent, That’s why we let you suffer all those years”.  That’s much better.

            And then, when we ACTUALLY  INFECTED hundreds of people with venereal diseases in Guatemala… Well, I’m glad our trustworthy scientists were on the case there. Men of unbending scruples who would never violate the Hippocratic Oath or engage in any sort of chicanery.

            Those guys were real saints. Maybe we should be lighting more candles for guys like that, huh?

            Eddington, Schön, those guys were just incompetent, right? No wrongdoing was in their hearts? Wow, how much better I feel now, knowing that.

            You know, on second though. I don’t feel better.

            Blind faith in anything, whether it’s Religion or Science is foolhardy.

            Science is a tool. Just like a hammer or a scalpel.

            A carpenter can pick up a hammer and use it to build a house. A killer can pick up that same hammer and use it to crush skulls.

            It all depends on the person wielding it.

          • http://twitter.com/FullMoonGirl84 Samantha Davis

            Where is your report that CFCs are decreasing?  According to many scientists at Universities, they are at the highest levels they have been at in more than 150 years (when looking at comparison data from analyzing ice cores)

          • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc
  • Voidthought

    I agree that man has an influence upon the climate of this planet, in particular: testing nuclear weapons on land and sea, HAARP, massive pollution from big industry, deforestation without replacing natural CO2 filters(trees), destroying natural habitats with toxic chemicals. But I also understand that we do NOT understand ALL of the possibilities of natural climate changes. The planet may be reacting to our pathological behavior. My point being, we are a very small creature in a very big universe and we don’t even know half as much a we need to before making assumptions and emotionally driven opinions about our current condition! We say this is “OUR” planet, well goddamnit let’s make that a primary responsibility!

  • Voidthought

    I agree that man has an influence upon the climate of this planet, in particular: testing nuclear weapons on land and sea, HAARP, massive pollution from big industry, deforestation without replacing natural CO2 filters(trees), destroying natural habitats with toxic chemicals. But I also understand that we do NOT understand ALL of the possibilities of natural climate changes. The planet may be reacting to our pathological behavior. My point being, we are a very small creature in a very big universe and we don’t even know half as much a we need to before making assumptions and emotionally driven opinions about our current condition! We say this is “OUR” planet, well goddamnit let’s make that a primary responsibility!

  • chinagreenelvis

    You say that as if it wasn’t responsible for ozone depletion before.

    http://www.epa.gov/ozone/science/sc_fact.html

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Yeah, it’s almost like I’m saying it has something to do with volcanoes too.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/5/2609.full

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Yeah, it’s almost like I’m saying it has something to do with volcanoes too.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/99/5/2609.full

  • Anonymous

    Why the need for the line about your ‘mystery’ then? That’s what China was replying to. You sound suspicious of the idea that aerosols were ever to blame.

    On a side note there’s no actual mystery. CFCs were banned from aerosols in the 90s.

  • Malk

    maybe the Hopi blue star is our inner star? =o

  • Malk

    maybe the Hopi blue star is our inner star? =o

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Yeah, I have suspicions that the Antarctic Ozone Hole wasn’t wholly caused by my choice of underarm deodorant.

    They replaced the original cfc propellant with some other crap, that’s fine and should have been done. No problems there.

    Meanwhile the party line is that volcanoes don’t actually contribute to ozone depletion.

    Now there’s significant new ozone depletion. Can’t blame it on volcanoes and cfc levels are declining so we can’t put the blame there.

    Time to revert back to “Your cosmetics are ruining the planet”, or whatever trope seems most likely to gain traction.

    I’m sure that it would have been tied back into Global Warming already, if it wasn’t for that fact that cold seems to contribute to ozone destruction.

    Perhaps we can start saying that the Global Warming is leading to increasingly severe global weather patterns/fluctuations and THAT’S what’s causing more cold air to mix in, leading to ozone depletion.

    I’ll run some simulations on my Etch-A-Sketch later to confirm the theory. We can just assume it’s true in the meantime.

    I’m amazed I need to spell this sort of thing out…

  • Anonymous

    Scientists aren’t out to get one over on you mate. They don’t arbitrarily assign blame to things.

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc

    Whew…

    I’m glad there’s nothing to worry about. Everything is under control? Our best experts are on the case? Good. Good.

    It’s just that I’ve lived long enough and read enough to know that in the past Scientists have made some pretty serious mistakes. I’m glad to hear that those mistakes couldn’t have been intentional.

    What a relief.

    Cause I’d be pretty worried if back when they were practicing Eugenics science (which was in my lifetime) here in the States, they had some sort of agenda they were working on. Some agenda other than “Scientific Truth”. Glad to know that was just incompetence. My ex-girlfriend who got a court ordered sterilization because she dropped out of high school will be real relieved.

    And that Lamarkian Inheritance that later morphed into Soviet Lysenkoism and then Chinese Lysenkoism. Yeah, glad that was just a mistake and there was no intentional misrepresentations involved in that whole mess. The people who got murdered over that will be relieved, I’m sure.

    That whole Archaeoraptor thing? Yeah, glad to know that was just a mistake and there was no falsification of data involved.

    When we let those Tuskegee test subjects go untreated for syphilis for decades after a reliable cure was known… Well I’m sure they’ll be very forgiving of the people running that study. “Sorry, we were just incompetent, That’s why we let you suffer all those years”.  That’s much better.

    And then, when we ACTUALLY  INFECTED hundreds of people with venereal diseases in Guatemala… Well, I’m glad our trustworthy scientists were on the case there. Men of unbending scruples who would never violate the Hippocratic Oath or engage in any sort of chicanery.

    Those guys were real saints. Maybe we should be lighting more candles for guys like that, huh?

    Eddington, Schön, those guys were just incompetent, right? No wrongdoing was in their hearts? Wow, how much better I feel now, knowing that.

    You know, on second though. I don’t feel better.

    Blind faith in anything, whether it’s Religion or Science is foolhardy.

    Science is a tool. Just like a hammer or a scalpel.

    A carpenter can pick up a hammer and use it to build a house. A killer can pick up that same hammer and use it to crush skulls.

    It all depends on the person wielding it.

  • http://twitter.com/FullMoonGirl84 Samantha Davis

    Where is your report that CFCs are decreasing?  According to many scientists at Universities, they are at the highest levels they have been at in more than 150 years (when looking at comparison data from analyzing ice cores)

  • http://www.ContraControl.com/ Zenc
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