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2003 Antarctic Ozone Hole Equals Record Size
Space Daily ^
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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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.
posted on 09/17/2003 12:14:28 PM PDT
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.
posted on 09/17/2003 12:17:34 PM PDT
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.....
posted on 09/17/2003 12:19:05 PM PDT
(Like all the jolly good fellows, I drink my whiskey clear....)
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.
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.
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):
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.
I didn't know that. See, I got to learn something new today. Thanks...
posted on 09/17/2003 12:49:34 PM PDT
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.
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.
My guess is that the phenomenon is cyclic, with a longer period than we've been measuring. I used to work in the Earth remote sensing business, on a similar topic. My impression at the time was that we needed several decades of data, with significant overlaps between sensors, before we can make any reasonable statements about what conditions are "normal", and whether our industrial activities have anything to do with climatic variations. We're at best halfway there, IMPO.
To: WiscYooper; UCANSEE2; cogitator
This is a collective response to rightwhale, ucansee2, wiscyooper and cogitator, so please excuse so unorganized a message.
I normally dont comment on scientific or medical matters, since my profession for the years 1969 to date has been in the financial industry and my ongoing education into science has only been a hobby in passing since I have left that field. The only exceptions I have made recently, are regarding the SARS BS and blatant hogwash like the Ozone Hole.
My major in college was physics and worked for two summers while attending school for GE at their Missile And Space Reentry Division near Philadelphia in a lab studying the effects on communications of the plasma created around a spacecraft on reentry. This was in the mid 1960s. My last job in the field was in my senior year for one of my professors working in his lab studying the plasma effects generated by high energy explosions of matter. When, in Atomic Physics, I got to the Uncertainty Principle, which I was supposed to believe was science, I hung up my science shoes, quit school and entered the free market of the Stock Market in which I am still involved to this day.
Now to the Ozone Hole. Anyone can buy any scientific opinion they want, if they have enough money, like the government. For the most part science today is the whore of governments. I could see this happening even in the 1960s, but today it is happening at warp speed.
(1) Discovering the hole 1958 is like discovering that a room is dark at night when you turn off the lights. Ozone (O3) is created by sunlight which ionizes oxygen (O2). The level of ozone in the upper atmosphere is directly related to the intensity of the suns radiation. When in winter in Antarctica the angle of incidence of the sun is low, the ozone drops to a low level, causing the famous hole. Congratulations, Sherlock on your scientific discovery!
(2) Somehow this simple fact needs other factors to make it happen, like CFCs, freon, chlorine, etc. I always questioned how a very heavy molecule like freon was able to rise into the upper atmosphere amongst rather light gases like hydrogen, oxygen and other carbon gases. But not to worry, even gravity will give way for enough greenbacks.
(3) Scientific education today is an oxymoron. Other than in the applied sciences, like computer technology [still working on every old theory], science is dead, especially to the masses of regular people. I got a lesson on how stupid I was recently when I ran across the graduation exam for 8th grade in a small Midwest town, which was given in the late 1800s. I would have been very happy to get a 50% grade. Today the best Harvard PHD student would not get 15% right. But not to fear, didnt you read that the latest SAT scores are the highest in decades? Yes, because they are liars, and have changed the scoring, tests, and whatever else they needed to do to make it so.
(4) You would be surprised how much bull-crap passes itself off as science or especially medicine today. To rule a people you only need to keep them dumb and afraid. I give you a short list of BS items, which I will not comment on, that you should beware of any pronouncements about: AIDS, SARS, HARP, Bio-chemical Attacks, Pollution, Global Warming [Cooling], Weather Modification, etc, etc, etc.
If anyone would like further communication I suggest direct private email to me at: "email@example.com"
posted on 09/17/2003 8:40:52 PM PDT
Not to be contrary, Cog, but it will take more than a graph to make me a believer. I am pro-environment, but nowhere near anything like the average "greenie." If fact, if the Greens/Sierra Club are for something, I'm automatically against it unless I KNOW that they are correct about it, like the prohibition in Atlanta against building/expanding freeways, while we all sit in traffic, a classic example of counter-productive pursuits on their part.
In fact, my solution is to tax the H--- out of those jackasses who ride around in SUVs, etc, gas guzzlers which over-pollute, all for the twits among us who have never seen a dirt road in their lives. They talk about freedom to drive what they want, regardless of the consequences. They don't care about the price of gas, or pollution at all, so I return the favor and do not care about them. Besides, if you have ever been on the road with one of those "tankers," you know that they have the same mentality as pickup truck drivers: "I'll run your a-- off the road, whatever it takes to let you know who owns it." They deserve no consideration at all.
LOL, maybe we can trick the greenies into thinking that we need a express lane exclusively for non-SUV-Pickups-minivans, that will reduce traffic by 90%. Get these clowns, along with the "50-MPH cell phone users" and self-absorbed dingbats who can't grasp the concept of "slower traffic, get in the right-most lanes," and I might be able to actually drive on a freeway without ever needing to use my brakes. But that would be too much like heaven, wouldn't it?
I believe that those orgs above are more about anti-Capitalism than any other issue. 'Tis passé to be a commie but in vogue to be a greenie, a distinction without a difference in my view.....
posted on 09/17/2003 8:44:41 PM PDT
"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. ..."
What are the concentrations of ozone-destroying chemicals as a function of time ?
posted on 09/17/2003 9:00:26 PM PDT
I always questioned how a very heavy molecule like freon was able to rise into the upper atmosphere amongst rather light gases like hydrogen, oxygen and other carbon gases. But not to worry, even gravity will give way for enough greenbacks.
This is exactly what the authors of "The Holes in the Ozone Scare" bring up. The green's arument is that winds carry the stuff aloft. However, even if winds do carry the stuff to the upper atmosphere, it seems impossible for the wind to carry a large percentage of the CFCs up.
posted on 09/18/2003 6:40:35 AM PDT
I'd love to try and educate you, but it's probably not worth my time. So I'll cut to the chase. You're WRONG. The ozone hole is absolutely real. The mechanisms that cause it are well-known and tested. I will refer you to this Web link. I suggest that you read it if you want to be better informed. If you don't, then your ignorance is not my problem.
The Ozone Hole Tour
Study the word "diffusion", Sam.
Study the word "diffusion", Sam.
Diffusion means it is spread out or not concentrated. Still, you and your ilk are trying to say that the entire amout of CFCs leaked is concentrated in the upper atmosphere. Do you agree that CFCs are heavier than air? If so, would you not agree that they would be diffused mostly at or near ground level? I can direct you (In fact I think I alrady have) to a web site that refutes what your web site says.
posted on 09/18/2003 9:23:59 AM PDT
As an astronomer, meteorologist and software engineer for the last 30 years, I have only one thing to say:
You are absolutely correct!
There is no such thing as an "Ozone Hole", only an "Ozone Donut", since the angle of incidence is the single most important aspect.
As you correctly stated, Ozone (O3) is created by sunlight which ionizes oxygen (O2). During the polar winters where there is no sunlight for 6 months out of the year, Ozone is no longer being created.
However, at latitudes above the polar circle, the long duration sunsets produced large quantities of Ozone. That is a simple function of solar incidence (angle between the Sun and the horizon).
posted on 09/18/2003 9:26:23 AM PDT
Apparently we are in error, according the Cambridge University. To paraphrase Malcome Forbes: "Socialist Tool."
I shiver now in my boots.
Cambridge University was last well respected when I believe Sir Issac Newton was in charge. Don't forget to celebrate his birthday next December 25.
posted on 09/18/2003 1:04:26 PM PDT
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