Ozone Layer under threat again

Ozone Hole at the worst

Ozone Hole at the worst

Images via – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone_depletion

Yet again, it seems, we are faced with the threat to the Ozone layer over Antarctica having re-emerged, because, according to new research, literally dozens of mysterious chemicals, which are also extremely potent greenhouse gases, may be undermining the recovery of the giant ozone hole.

Exactly where these substances originate is unclear, but it seems certain that they contravening the 1987 Montreal protocol banning such ozone damaging compounds. Before this damning report came out, 13 CFCs and HCFCs in total were banned under what is seen as the world’s most successful environmental law, yet research has now unveiled four previously unknown compounds, but pointed out that many more are undoubtedly out there.

Doctor Johannes Laube, at the University of East Anglia, is particularly worried, fearing that two of the newly identified substances are increasing their atmospheric concentrations all the time, and since such compounds can take decades to break down in the atmosphere, they have a long-term impact on the ozone layer.

This unfortunately indicates that ozone depletion, far from being a thing of the past, is still with us, and these new gases increasing in quantity within the atmosphere are definite reasons for concern. The teams researched their findings through sampling air bubbles trapped in Greenland snow-packs, Tasmanian samples and others collected thirteen miles up over Europe by aircraft.

They found three previously unknown CFCs and one HCFC, finding that some 74,000 tonnes of these have been emitted to date, and despite production of all CFCs being banned since 2010, CFC113a  concentrations are rising alarmingly fast. even though the Montreal protocol has meant that the Ozone layer has recovered slowly, these new findings could slow down, or even reverse that trend, if left unattended.

This is especially true in light of the NASA finding, last December, of a new so-called greenhouse gas that is SEVEN THOUSAND times worse than CO2, when it comes to atmospheric warming. This substance has been used by the electrical industry since the 1950s, and is but one of the four. The four newly identified compounds that are all liable to be far worse at heating the atmosphere than anything previously discovered. This is a serious threat, and scientists are alarmed, demanding that immediate action needs to be taken, and hoping that governments will actually listen.

Minimum ozone levels as thins currently stand

Minimum ozone levels as thins currently stand

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  1. TheBrit
  2. Tony H Leather

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