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Tag: ozone

Warm air shrinks ozone hole to smallest size on record

Warm air shrinks ozone hole to smallest size on record

Science
Oct. 21 (UPI) -- The ozone hole is the smallest its been since scientists first began monitoring the human-caused phenomenon in 1982. After reaching an annual maximum measuring 6.3 million square miles in early September, the smallest maximum ever, the ozone hole quickly shrank. By early October, the ozone hole measured 3.9 million square miles. Scientists expect the hole to continue to dissipate in the coming weeks before closing completely -- for now. In a pair of news releases published Monday, scientists at NASA and NOAA confirmed that the ozone hole was the smallest in recorded history. Weather systems near the South Pole triggered an influx of warm air into the stratosphere during September and October, curbing the depletion of ozone gas. Similar climate patterns produced unusually...
Scientists accidentally designed an incredibly accurate ozone detector

Scientists accidentally designed an incredibly accurate ozone detector

Science
April 30 (UPI) -- Researchers originally designed the ROZE instrument to detect hydroxyl, which rids the atmosphere of methane. But tests showed the instrument was surprisingly good at measuring ambient levels of ozone -- better than the best available commercial ozone detectors. "When we started this development effort, ozone was the farthest thing from our minds," NASA research scientist Tom Hanisco said in a news release. In his attempts to track hydroxyl levels, Hanisco deployed a technique known as gas filter correlation spectroscopy, which works by filtering out the wavelengths that interact with -- or, are absorbed by -- hydroxyl. An air leak in the device's cavity, which scientists intended to fill with hydroxyl, caused technical difficulties. Instead of producing hydroxyl, the i...
More protection: UN says Earth's ozone layer is healing

More protection: UN says Earth's ozone layer is healing

Technology
Earth's protective ozone layer is finally healing from damage caused by aerosol sprays and coolants, a new United Nations report said. The ozone layer had been thinning since the late 1970s. Scientists raised the alarm and ozone-depleting chemicals were phased out worldwide. As a result, the upper ozone layer above the Northern Hemisphere should be completely repaired in the 2030s and the gaping Antarctic ozone hole should disappear in the 2060s, according to a scientific assessment released Monday at a conference in Quito, Ecuador. The Southern Hemisphere lags a bit and its ozone layer should be healed by mid-century. "It's really good news," said report co-chairman Paul Newman, chief Earth scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. "If ozone-depleting substances had continued to ...
Illegal emissions threaten to undermine UN's optimistic ozone report

Illegal emissions threaten to undermine UN's optimistic ozone report

Science
Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Despite news reports of an improving ozone layer, uncertainty over the impacts of illegal chlorofluorocarbon emissions threatens to undermine the longterm success of the Montreal Protocol. Earlier this week, the United Nations issued a press release confirming the Earth's ozone layer continues to heal. The release called the news a "ray of hope" in the wake of urgent warnings about the risks of global warming. But the report itself revealed serious concerns -- concerns parties to the Montreal Protocol are discussing this week at meetings in Quito, Ecuador. Last year, reports revealed a surprising uptick in CFC-11 emissions, an ozone-depleting gas banned under the Montreal Protocol. Followup investigations suggested the Chinese foam industry is responsible for the rise in C...
Ozone hole above Antarctica could be repaired by 2060

Ozone hole above Antarctica could be repaired by 2060

Technology
Amid all the bad news about the environment there is one chink of light - the Earth's ozone layer is healing, scientists say. And the good news includes the huge hole above Antarctica, which is expected to completely vanish by the 2060s.According to a UN report, the upper layer of ozone over the northern hemisphere will be repaired by 2030, and the damage over the southern hemisphere will be back to normal by the middle of the century.The ozone layer's increasing health has been put down to the 1987 Montreal Protocol - an international treaty banning ozone-depleting chemicals, including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), alongside new technology. Image: The banning of CFCs has helped to repair the ozone hole above Antarctica ...