« | »

Ozone Hole Fix Causing Global Warming

Tucked away in the ‘Environment’ section at the always discreet New York Times:

The Ozone Hole Is Mending. Now for the ‘But.’


January 25, 2010

That the hole in Earth’s ozone layer is slowly mending is considered a big victory for environmental policy makers. But in a new report, scientists say there is a downside: its repair may contribute to global warming.

It turns out that the hole led to the formation of moist, brighter-than-usual clouds that shielded the Antarctic region from the warming induced by greenhouse gas emissions over the last two decades, scientists write in Wednesday’s issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

“The recovery of the hole will reverse that,” said Ken Carslaw, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Leeds and a co-author of the paper. “Essentially, it will accelerate warming in certain parts of the Southern Hemisphere.”

The hole in the layer, discovered above Antarctica in the mid-1980s, caused wide alarm because ozone plays a crucial role in protecting life on Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation.

The hole was largely attributed to the human use of chlorofluorocarbons, chemical compounds found in refrigerants and aerosol cans that dissipate ozone. Under an international protocol adopted in 1987, many countries phased out the compounds, helping the ozone to start reconstituting itself over the Antarctic.

For their research, the authors of the new study relied on meteorological data recorded between 1980 and 2000, including global wind speeds recorded by the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts.

The data show that the hole in the ozone layer generated high-speed winds that caused sea salt to be swept up into the atmosphere to form moist clouds. The clouds reflect more of the sun’s powerful rays and help fend off warming in the Antarctic atmosphere, the scientists write.

The sea spray influx resulted in an increase in cloud droplet concentration of about 46 percent in some regions of the Southern Hemisphere, Dr. Carslaw said.

But Judith Perlwitz, a University of Colorado professor and a research scientist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, said that although the paper’s data were sound, she questioned the conclusions.

Even as the ozone layer recovers, greenhouse gas emissions are expected to expand, she said. She predicted that the rise in temperatures would cause wind speeds to increase over time and have the same cloud-forming effect that the ozone hole now has.

“The question is whether the wind is really going to slow down, and that I doubt,” she said.

“The future is not just determined by the recovery of the ozone hole,” she said. “We’re also increasing our use of greenhouse gases, which increases the speed of the winds all year long.”

Dr. Perlwitz also pointed out that the ozone hole was not expected to fully recover to pre-1980 levels until at least 2060, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s most recent report on the issue.

The headline for this page at the New York Times website is: ‘Scientists Say Ozone Hole’s Repair May Worsen Global Warming.’

And yet The Times editors felt obligated to slap a much more oblique headline on the article itself.

In fact, we had to read the piece several times to even figure out what they were trying not to say.

But isn’t irony ironic?

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, January 26th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

5 Responses to “Ozone Hole Fix Causing Global Warming”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Truth is , tricholoroethylene (sp?) , type 1,1,1 was the best damn fabric cleaner, ever. I miss it.

  2. Reality Bytes says:

    Isn’t the Ozone code for Obama’s Oval Office? If so, then OF COURSE IT’S CLOSING!!! BEEN THAT WAY SINCE THE GUY GOT IN THERE!!!

  3. proreason says:

    What kind of arrogance does it take to tinker with the atmosphere or the climate? Who could be so cock-sure as to recommend actions that could upset the balance of the earth itself when we know next to nothing about how it operates or what factors influence it?

    It’s not like you can try out your brain farts in a petry dish before implementing them.

    The mind boggles.

  4. Liberals Demise says:

    “O”zone hole …….. now THAT’S funny!!

  5. platypus says:

    Idiocy rules!

    The Freon-must-die movement had the same data defects as the recent discovery of global warming data defects. But it successfully took away one of the most efficient refrigerants man ever made.

    The ozone hole is most likely caused/modified by a combination of sunspot cycles and earth’s normal magnetic field fluctuations. Any notion that man can produce any substance in sufficient quantities to affect the atmosphere is sheer lunacy, generally caused by too much comic book time. We can no more hurt the atmosphere than we can clean it.

    All our anti-pollution efforts in the US have not solved the pollution problem anywhere. LA used to have far more smoggy days than it does today and it is one of the best success stories about clean air that there is. But the pollution problem remains, despite cars emitting about 1% of the pollution that they did 25 years ago. This is because the LA basin naturally traps pollutants.

    Billions of dollars later, where is the success?

« Front Page | To Top
« | »