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2003 Antarctic Ozone Hole Equals Record Size
Space Daily ^ | 09/17/2003

Posted on 09/17/2003 10:31:26 AM PDT by cogitator

Antarctic Ozone Hole Roars Back

Measurements over and near Antarctica show that ozone is decreasing more rapidly this year than in previous years and that the size of the ozone hole is now as large as the all time record size of 28 million sq. km during September 2000. This is in stark contrast to the ozone hole last year when it was the smallest in more than a decade after splitting in two during late September.

In recent years, the ozone hole is at or near its maximum size during mid-September, with the maximum sometimes reached in late September. It cannot be predicted with certainty whether the ozone hole will continue to grow during the next few weeks.

Recent variations in size, depth and persistence of the ozone hole are due to year-to-year changes in meteorological conditions in the lower stratosphere over Antarctica, rather than changes in the amount of ozone depleting chemicals present in the ozone layer.

The use of ozone depleting chemicals is presently being controlled through the enforcement of international agreements. Measurements show that most of these chemicals are decreasing in the lower atmosphere and they appear to have reached their peak in the critically important ozone layer in the stratosphere.

There is a delay in the cleansing of these chemicals from the ozone layer, and it is expected to require decades before the stratosphere returns to pre-ozone hole conditions. Complete recovery of the ozone layer will require continuing diligence with the enforcement of the international agreements.

In recognition of the importance of international co-operation on environmental issues and to commemorate the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987, 16 September has been designated by the United Nations as International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer.

On this occasion, Prof. G.O.P. Obasi, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization urged all nations to pursue their efforts in the monitoring of the chemical composition of the atmosphere and in the implementation of the Vienna Convention on the Protection of the Ozone Layer and the Montreal Protocol and Amendments on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government
KEYWORDS: antarctica; cfcs; environment; ozone; ozonehole; ultraviolet
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The headlines were a bit over-the-top. Bottom line: it will still take some time for the ozone layer to replenish as CFC concentrations in the stratosphere slowly decline.
1 posted on 09/17/2003 10:31:37 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator
So I guess getting rid of all that R12 was just a big waste of time?
2 posted on 09/17/2003 10:34:15 AM PDT by gore_sux (and so does Xlinton)
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To: gore_sux
So I guess getting rid of all that R12 was just a big waste of time?

Actually not; the article notes that improvements are being measured. It just takes time for the Earth system to react to them.

3 posted on 09/17/2003 10:36:11 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: All
I'm not anti-environment, but I have never seen any documentation/proof that there was NOT an ozone hole at the South Pole to begin with. If elimation of R-12 is the answer, I'm all for it, but it would be nice if I could see the "before" info, that demonstrates beyond a doubt, (sorry, but I distrust anything from the anti-Capitalist crowd, aka the "Greens").
4 posted on 09/17/2003 10:41:09 AM PDT by Malcolm
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To: cogitator
There is no "hole." There is a "thinning" or depletion of the ozone layer.

This is caused by the low amount of sunlight in Anartica during its winter, since sunlight causes oxygen to ionize into ozone.

This has nothing to do with CFC's or Freon, but a lot to do with sunlight.

Got science?
5 posted on 09/17/2003 10:43:28 AM PDT by ido_now
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To: cogitator
I have a physicist friend whose specialty for a number of years was observations from Antartica. He said that his evidence showed no sign of growth in the ozone hole.

Another friend who oversees grants said that only scientists who believe in a growing ozone hole are now awarded any grant money to study it.

So, I suspect that this is probably a one-time event that has nothing to do with growth in the hole. As we all know, weather and atmospheric phenomena don't obey handy little charts. They are unpredictable, at least by present knowledge.
6 posted on 09/17/2003 10:46:14 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: cogitator
Cool, a new record. It is going to be hard to beat this one, but if we try hard enough, I am sure that we can.
7 posted on 09/17/2003 10:47:41 AM PDT by Between the Lines ("What Goes Into the Mind Comes Out in a Life")
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To: ido_now
There is no "hole." There is a "thinning" or depletion of the ozone layer.

This is caused by the low amount of sunlight in Anartica during its winter, since sunlight causes oxygen to ionize into ozone.

This has nothing to do with CFC's or Freon, but a lot to do with sunlight.

You are incorrect on this subject. The "ozone hole" refers to drastically lowered ozone concentrations in the Antarctic stratosphere above the winter polar vortex, due to the reactions of chlorine with ozone that are catalytically enhanced on ice crystals in polar clouds.

If you would really like to "get science", I recommend this outstanding Web site on the subject:

The Ozone Hole Tour. Part 3, "The Science of the Ozone Hole", will be of particular interest to you.

8 posted on 09/17/2003 10:51:45 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: Malcolm
but it would be nice if I could see the "before" info, that demonstrates beyond a doubt,

I'm not sure what you're looking for. If you want to see what the measurements of the ozone layer (in Dobson units) looked like before the impact of CFCs began to take effect, here's the data:

This is from The History Behind the Ozone Hole

9 posted on 09/17/2003 10:55:18 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: Cicero
He said that his evidence showed no sign of growth in the ozone hole.

That probably depends on what kind of data he has. The lowest concentrations don't go any lower, but the area of decreased ozone concentration is what is assessed in terms of ozone hole "growth" or "shrinkage".

10 posted on 09/17/2003 10:56:52 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator
How come we didn't hear word one about this when Clinton was president?
11 posted on 09/17/2003 11:01:46 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: cogitator
Actually, I think that ido_now is correct. Not looking for a fight, but atmospheric mixing between the northern and southern hemisphere is very limited. Since almost all sources and uses of CFCs and Freon are in the northern hemisphere, normal atmospheric transport would concentrate these chemicals at the North pole, not the South pole. The fact that there is thinning at the South and not at the North is a pretty strong indicator that Man has nothing to do with it.

Now there is a very strong correlation between volvanic avtivity and ozone thinning in the respective hemisphere, particularly if the valvanoes in question are very active and generate a lot of chlorine. Measurable ozone thinning in the north did occurr, for example, after the very large Mt Pinatubo eruption. It just happens that the most active volcanoe in the world is Mt Erabus in, you guessed it, Antarctica. It's been more or less continuously erupting for decades.

12 posted on 09/17/2003 11:04:28 AM PDT by jscd3
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To: jscd3
Man, I am one lousy speller :)
13 posted on 09/17/2003 11:05:56 AM PDT by jscd3
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To: ido_now
Got science?

In the news this morning was the note that American pupils rank 15th in industrialized societies for ability in the 3 Rs, Reading, Math, and Science. But we're up to date with PC and dating protocol. Looks like American pre-eminence in the world is drawing to an end; that type of social evolution is usually concluded with a sudden overruning and complete destruction of the society.

14 posted on 09/17/2003 11:09:25 AM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: cogitator
The headlines were a bit over-the-top. Bottom line: it will still take some time for the ozone layer to replenish as CFC concentrations in the stratosphere slowly decline.

Ozone, eh? That's the stuff that is created by sunshine isn't it?

Antarctica is due to receive some sunshine now after having it on backorder for six months.

Odd how this "hole" shows up more during the long Antarctic night.

15 posted on 09/17/2003 11:10:11 AM PDT by N. Theknow (Clemson University plays possum football...They play dead at home and get killed on the road.)
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To: Sunshine Sister
How come we didn't hear word one about this when Clinton was president?

Look, it's obvious:

1.    All news about the ecology is bad news.

2.    All bad news about the ecology is caused by the rich Republicans.

3.    We've got to raise taxes before the ecology gets even with us.

16 posted on 09/17/2003 11:10:33 AM PDT by expat_panama
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To: cogitator
Bottom line: it will still take some time for the ozone layer to replenish as CFC concentrations in the stratosphere slowly decline.

Why do you push this B.S.? Try reading "The Holes in the Ozone Scare."

17 posted on 09/17/2003 11:13:55 AM PDT by saminfl
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To: gore_sux
Worth repeating, 1 & a 2,

So I guess getting rid of all that R12 was just a big waste of time?

All the bogus & scary "Reefer Madness" research can be traced to cloaked industry sponsorship.

18 posted on 09/17/2003 11:13:57 AM PDT by norraad
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To: cogitator
Surely, Bush is to blame.
19 posted on 09/17/2003 11:13:57 AM PDT by rintense (9-11-01: Never Forget.)
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To: cogitator
Bottom line: it will still take some time for the ozone layer to replenish as CFC concentrations in the stratosphere slowly decline.

Why do you push this B.S.? Try reading "The Holes in the Ozone Scare."

20 posted on 09/17/2003 11:13:57 AM PDT by saminfl
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To: jscd3
Actually, I think that ido_now is correct. Not looking for a fight, but atmospheric mixing between the northern and southern hemisphere is very limited. Since almost all sources and uses of CFCs and Freon are in the northern hemisphere, normal atmospheric transport would concentrate these chemicals at the North pole, not the South pole. The fact that there is thinning at the South and not at the North is a pretty strong indicator that Man has nothing to do with it.

I'm never looking for a fight, but I suggest reading the Web site that I offered in my reply. A general decrease in ozone concentration has been observed everywhere in the stratosphere, on the order of 5%, but polar conditions are such that ozone concentration is dramatically reduced in September-October of each year. The reactions with chlorine that is derived from CFCs have been studied, tested, and verified.

Now there is a very strong correlation between volvanic avtivity and ozone thinning in the respective hemisphere, particularly if the valvanoes in question are very active and generate a lot of chlorine. Measurable ozone thinning in the north did occurr, for example, after the very large Mt Pinatubo eruption. It just happens that the most active volcanoe in the world is Mt Erabus in, you guessed it, Antarctica. It's been more or less continuously erupting for decades.

Erebus has a lava lake, which is why it has been continuously erupting. Erebus emissions are low-level and never reach the stratosphere, and the form of chlorine is HCl, which is volatile and doesn't persist in the atmosphere. Pinatubo's violent eruption did inject a large amount of SO2 into the stratosphere, which had an effect on the ozone concentration for about 3 years after the eruption.

21 posted on 09/17/2003 11:15:14 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: saminfl
Why do you push this B.S.? Try reading "The Holes in the Ozone Scare."

Read the information at the link in post 8, and then reply to me to indicate if you still think I should read your reference.

22 posted on 09/17/2003 11:17:04 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator
I remember 95 million years ago when it was even bigger . Had to wear a lot of sunscreen .
23 posted on 09/17/2003 11:21:39 AM PDT by Renegade
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To: cogitator
So you are only going to read things that agree with your philosophy? That's why you enviro-whackos can't listen to reason. The CFC ozone hole was probably one of the biggest scams pulled on the people of earth.
24 posted on 09/17/2003 11:25:27 AM PDT by saminfl
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To: cogitator
Read the information at the link in post 8, and then reply to me to indicate if you still think I should read your reference.

From you so-called "science" site: Factories and homes SPEW OUT CFCs. Bull-Hockey!!!

25 posted on 09/17/2003 11:28:53 AM PDT by saminfl
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To: saminfl
Bears repeating, . .ready Bears?

& a 1, & a 2

The CFC ozone hole was probably one of the biggest scams pulled on the people of earth!

26 posted on 09/17/2003 11:32:33 AM PDT by norraad
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To: ido_now
And the changes in the size are due to fluctuations of the sun, and not CFC, or SUV's.
27 posted on 09/17/2003 11:37:15 AM PDT by UCANSEE2
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To: expat_panama
You made my point very succinctly. Thank you!
28 posted on 09/17/2003 11:38:58 AM PDT by Sunshine Sister
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To: cogitator
We are also suffering from the minimum of the sunspot cycle. Sunspots contribute to the radiation/ionization which creates the ozone! Lacking the sunspots (solar activity), radiation decreases. See, it's easy!

29 posted on 09/17/2003 11:45:27 AM PDT by lawdude
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To: UCANSEE2
So, . . ah, can have our r12 back now (a perfectly safe & useful inert product, it's inventor breathed it in & blew out a candle with it half a century ago).

Nothing better has been or will be invented, 134a is an older more dangerous formula that doesn't even work as good.

30 posted on 09/17/2003 11:47:19 AM PDT by norraad
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To: cogitator
Appreciate the reply, and when I have the chance (currently at work) I will certainly review the site

A general decrease in ozone concentration has been observed everywhere in the stratosphere, on the order of 5%, but polar conditions are such that ozone concentration is dramatically reduced in September-October of each year.

Without having looked, does this site explain why this reduction occurs in the South Pole (not near CFC sources)rather than the North (where there are lot's of them)?

31 posted on 09/17/2003 11:50:46 AM PDT by jscd3
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To: norraad
Forcing use of 134A was just a way of generating new income for a certain corporation by making everyone buy a new (old) refrigerant.
32 posted on 09/17/2003 11:58:32 AM PDT by UCANSEE2
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To: saminfl
So you are only going to read things that agree with your philosophy? That's why you enviro-whackos can't listen to reason.

One, I'm not an enviro-whacko. Two, philosophy has nothing to do with it; the site explains, in simple terms, the scientific understanding of the processes which cause ozone depletion and the ozone "hole". You've already replied with a minor nitpick about the wording on the site; if that's all you think is wrong with it, then I'll stick with the scientists on this one. I would enjoy discussing what you or your reference indicate is wrong with the theory. But if you don't want to, that's fine.

But I'll point out one thing. The communities that live near the southern end of South America have made a very large investment for their income level in UV monitoring devices to determine if the large increase in UV that they are occasionally exposed to each spring (in the Southern Hemisphere) will be detrimental to their health. If this is a "scam", then why are they measuring their increased exposure to UV radiation every spring?

Here's an article describing what happened last year:

Tierra del Fuego Residents Get An Extra Dose Of Solar Radiation

Excerpt:

"However, said Canziani, the phenomenon has grown more acute over that populated region, with extreme thinning to just 145 Dobson units, and forces the fueginos to take the same precautions in the middle of winter as they would if they were at a beach on summer vacation."

Maybe if you were in Tierra del Fuego when ozone-depleted regions of the stratosphere circulate overhead on a sunny day, you'd go out without any sunscreen on, since you think this is all a scam. We have a different philosophy; I wouldn't do that.

33 posted on 09/17/2003 11:58:50 AM PDT by cogitator
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To: N. Theknow
YEs, the ozone is created by sunlight (solar energy). It is created around the hole, as the hole is where the solar energy flows into the Earth following the lines of magnetic flux. This massive amount of energy flowing into the Earth is focused, or concentrated, and this is where the ozone is created, which flows away from the hole and around the rest of the atmospheric layer.
34 posted on 09/17/2003 12:02:53 PM PDT by UCANSEE2
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To: jscd3
Without having looked, does this site explain why this reduction occurs in the South Pole (not near CFC sources)rather than the North (where there are lot's of them)?

Yes. In Part 3, concentrate on the section entitled "The Special Features of Polar Meteorology" (even though the figure is blurry). The bottom has a nice quick summary.

35 posted on 09/17/2003 12:03:13 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: norraad
Hey, if it was up to me.....
36 posted on 09/17/2003 12:03:55 PM PDT by UCANSEE2
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To: cogitator
Wasting your breath, I'm afraid. Nevermind that destruction of the ozone layer was a concern as far back (maybe further) as the mid-70's and moves were already afoot in the early 80's to eliminate CFCs from spray cans, for example. According to many here, there are no enviromental problems caused by man, and if there are, they don't matter anyway. Just because environmental issues have been hijacked by anti-development and seemingly anti-human radicals, doesn't mean that none of these issues exist.
37 posted on 09/17/2003 12:08:43 PM PDT by -YYZ-
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To: UCANSEE2
Forcing use of 134A was just a way of generating new income for a certain corporation by making everyone buy a new (old) refrigerant.

As well as ruining alot of perfectly good compressors by mixing yucky 134a with r12

The old r12 compressors lasted along time because a natural teflon like coating was created on the metal.

Teflon was discovered by accident while trying to improve r12(which they could never do, but I'm glad they tried, I like Teflon).

38 posted on 09/17/2003 12:10:16 PM PDT by norraad
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To: saminfl
Bull-Hockey!!!

Have to agree with that assessment. One of the major sources of CFCs to the atmosphere was the scrapping of cars with air conditioners without prior recovery of the CFCs in the air conditioner.

However, with regard to "factory" emissions, for a long time the major sources were foam blowing and microchip cleaning.

39 posted on 09/17/2003 12:10:32 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: cogitator
Interesting chart.

Observations:
1) Satellite based measurement of stratospheric ozone began in 1978. The downslope in your chart begins in 1978. Large area measurement of stratospheric ozone was impossible prior to 1978.
2) Your chart ends in 1995. Satellite based observation of stratospheric ozone continues to this day. Where are the rest of the data?

40 posted on 09/17/2003 12:12:16 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard
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To: cogitator
But I'll point out one thing. The communities that live near the southern end of South America have made a very large investment for their income level in UV monitoring devices to determine if the large increase in UV that they are occasionally exposed to each spring (in the Southern Hemisphere) will be detrimental to their health. If this is a "scam", then why are they measuring their increased exposure to UV radiation every spring?

Because the propaganda has frightened them?

Here is a quote from the Science and Environmental Policy Project page at sepp.org. Note what I have highlighted in bold.

Ozone Depletion: Although environmental pressure groups have made exaggerated claims that the stratospheric ozone layer is being eaten away by chlorofluorocarbons (most notably Freon) wafting into space, scientists have yet to see any increase of solar ultraviolet radiation at the Earth's surface. Actually, even the worst-case scenario (the one that spawned all those bogus stories about blind sheep, blind rabbits, blind trout, plankton death, dead plants, autoimmune disorders, and melanoma epidemics), would have resulted in only a minor increase in UV--one you could experience by driving just 60 miles closer to the equator, say from Washington, D.C. to Richmond, Virginia. Nevertheless, the Bush Administration hastily imposed a ban on CFC production, costing U.S. consumers up to $100 billion. And to make that sound like a good deal, the EPA is claiming a preposterous health benefit of $32 trillion. Meanwhile, a hugely profitable black market has been created because of the high cost of CFC substitutes and retrofitting air conditioning systems. Indeed, news reports say the border traffic in "hot" Freon is running a close second to cocaine. Worse, Third World countries, exempt from the ban, are still using CFCs and building factories to produce more. Combine the two and it's unlikely that the ban has produced any benefit to stratospheric ozone. Now that all the handwringing has led to an international protocol, however, the issue is no longer in the public eye. As in the case of acid rain, another minor problem "fixed" by an expensive non-solution, hype has triumphed over substance.

41 posted on 09/17/2003 12:14:28 PM PDT by saminfl
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To: cogitator
However, with regard to "factory" emissions, for a long time the major sources were foam blowing and microchip cleaning.

In any case, using the words "SPEW OUT" is not very scientific. this makes me reluctant to accept what they say.

42 posted on 09/17/2003 12:17:34 PM PDT by saminfl
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To: cogitator
I swear, every damn time the sun comes up down there, we have to listen to ozone hole stories. Yes, sunlight makes ozone....yes, the sun goes away for a long time......ARRRGGGGGHHHHHH.....
43 posted on 09/17/2003 12:19:05 PM PDT by AdamSelene235 (Like all the jolly good fellows, I drink my whiskey clear....)
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To: -YYZ-
Wasting your breath, I'm afraid.

Actually not. One poster that I responded to has taken an active interest in the subject. There are different kinds of people in the world; some respond to a reasoned discussion, and some don't. And others respond to the content of an unreasonable discussion even if the person you're trying to reason with is unreasonable.

44 posted on 09/17/2003 12:20:17 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: ido_now
Excellent post!!!

Factual: (There is no "hole." There is a "thinning" or depletion of the ozone layer. )

Listing the Cause: (This is caused by the low amount of sunlight in Anartica during its winter, since sunlight causes oxygen to ionize into ozone.)

I believe the thinning of the Ozone over the Antartic was first discovered in 1958 during the International Geophysical Year. The scientist who made the observation correctly theroized it was caused by the lack of sunlight which occures during a hemoshpere's winter soltice.

How much grant money has to be wasted before they finally confirm what was known in 1958, is yet to be seen.
45 posted on 09/17/2003 12:23:14 PM PDT by WiscYooper
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To: ArrogantBustard
1) Satellite based measurement of stratospheric ozone began in 1978. The downslope in your chart begins in 1978. Large area measurement of stratospheric ozone was impossible prior to 1978.
2) Your chart ends in 1995. Satellite based observation of stratospheric ozone continues to this day. Where are the rest of the data?

Regarding 1, the Halley Bay measurements constitute the discovery data set for the ozone hole. They had to re-calibrate the satellite measuring ozone from space because they thought it was returning erroneous data. Once they did that, the satellite was capable of showing the area of ozone depletion; the ground-based instruments still provided the baseline.

Regarding 2, it's an older Web site. After several minutes of arduous searching, here's more recent data (reduced for posting; click for BIG graph):


46 posted on 09/17/2003 12:35:04 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: saminfl
Responding quickly to both posts: because the ozone depletion rate has essentially been arrested by CFC use reduction, dire "worst case" scenarios of what could have happened won't come to fruition. That's a good thing.
I agree that "spew out" isn't scientific, but the site is for general consumption and explanation.
47 posted on 09/17/2003 12:38:11 PM PDT by cogitator
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To: norraad
I didn't know that. See, I got to learn something new today. Thanks...
48 posted on 09/17/2003 12:49:34 PM PDT by UCANSEE2
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To: cogitator
Even more interesting graph. And a very interesting fit to the data. Sinusiodal. I wonder what the next 25 years will show... and the 25 years after that. Maybe there's more going on here than the anti-CFC crowd thinks.
49 posted on 09/17/2003 12:55:04 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard
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To: ArrogantBustard
And a very interesting fit to the data. Sinusiodal. I wonder what the next 25 years will show... and the 25 years after that. Maybe there's more going on here than the anti-CFC crowd thinks.

My first guess is that there's a lower limit to how far the ozone concentration can drop, and until the chlorine concentrations decrease substantially, the ozone concentration in the hole will go about this low every year, plus or minus a few Dobson units. But we'll have to wait a few more years to see what happens.

50 posted on 09/17/2003 2:25:18 PM PDT by cogitator
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