Friday, September 22, 2006

Ozone

Our understanding of ozone in the upper atmosphere seems to have progressed quite a bit. Banning ozone depleting chemicals hasn't made much of a difference:

"Our latest bulletin shows that the hole in the ozone layer over the Antarctic has beaten that of last year and is rivalling the two largest on record -- 2000 was the largest and 2003 was the second largest," said WMO spokesman Mark Oliver.
And won't make a difference anytime soon:
.....Braathens reiterated recent findings showing that the seasonal depletion of ozone in the upper atmosphere was expected to continue for longer than expected despite the control measures.

"Although ozone depleting substances are on the way down slowly... we will in the next couple of decades expect to see ozone holes of the size we are seeing now," he said.
Ah, so it's "expected to continue for longer than expected." I see. In other words, "The good effects we promised won't happen until after we ozone-scientists retire."

Imagine that.

1 comments:

turn said...

Ozone (O3) is continuously created when O2 is ionized by UV radiation in the upper atmosphere. It is this very process by which the energetic UV photons are stepped down (a quanta change) and the ozone (O3) 'layer' protects the troposphere.

The 'hole', actually a sparcity, in the layer was first observed in the '70s in the relatively early years of atmospheric observation by satellites. It was more 'noticed' than 'discovered', because the data simply did not exist before then.

Given the southern continent's extremely high albedo, reflecting a huge amount of solar radiation in the Antarctic summer, it is a powerful ozone generator. However, in the antipodal winter, there is no direct solar or reflected energy--so is it any wonder that by September each year, we can detect a noticeable diminution in O3 levels drifting north from the Antarctic circle?

So-called 'Ozone Scientists' are nothing more than headline grabbers pandering to an over-credulous media eager to make doomsday pronouncements.

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