Ozone

Antarctic ozone hole reaches maximum size for 2013

Each year for the past few decades during the Southern Hemisphere spring, chemical reactions involving chlorine and bromine cause ozone in the southern polar region to be destroyed rapidly and severely. This depleted region is known as the “ozone hole”. Earth’s ozone layer shields life on the planet’s surface from ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin cancer and damage plants. Preliminary ...

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Newly detected ozone depleting substances in the atmosphere

Four gases contributing to the destruction of the ozone layer were identified in the atmosphere. All four of them have been released into the atmosphere recently. Scientists at the University of East Anglia made the discovery by comparing today’s air samples with air trapped in polar firn snow in Greenland sampled in 2008, and also looking at air collected between 1978 and 2012 in unpolluted Tasmania. Research has ...

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Unexpectedly large amount of ozone-depleting compound present in Earth’s atmosphere

New NASA research shows that Earth’s atmosphere contains an unexpectedly large amount of an ozone-depleting compound – Carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) –  from an unknown source decades after the compound was banned worldwide. Carbon tetrachloride was regulated in 1987 under the Montreal Protocol along with other chlorofluorocarbons that destroy ozone and contribute to the ozone hole over Antarctica. Between 2007 and 2012 ...

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Increased SO2 emissions from Holuhraun eruption site can pose health risk and affect global climate change

Earth has split open between the Bardarbunga and Askja volcanoes in Iceland and spewed lava and hot gas. According to the University of Iceland, as of September 9, 2014, the new lava flow was 16 kilometers (10 miles) long and covered about 20 square kilometers (8 square miles).  Holuhraun has spewed more lava this month than any Icelandic volcano since the 19th century. ...

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World Ozone Day 2014

September 16, 2014 – The World Ozone Day, is meant to commemorate the success that has been achieved in ameliorating ozone depletion since the enactment of the Montreal Protocol, but also to bring attention to the work ahead.  In their first review in four years on Earth’s vital shield, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said a ...

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2014 ozone hole update

According to scientists from NASA and NOAA, the Antarctic ozone hole reached its annual peak on September 11 with the size of 24.1 million square kilometers (93 million square miles). Overall, the 2014 ozone hole is smaller than the large holes of the 1998–2006 period, and is comparable to 2010, 2012, and 2013. The single-day maximum area was similar to that ...

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Possible outbreak of polar stratospheric clouds underway around the Arctic Circle

A possible outbreak of polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) is underway around the Arctic Circle, SpaceWeather.com reports. Ivar Marthinusen sends this picture of the phenomenon taken on December 22, 2014 from Skedsmokorset, Norway: “Right after sunset, these clouds were so bright they were uncomfortable to look at directly.” Image taken by Ivar Marthinusen on December 22, 2014 @ Skedsmokorset, Norway (via SpaceWeather) PSCs, also known as ...

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A sharp decline in concentration of ozone destroying HCFC-133a gas reported

A new study lead by Martin Vollmer of the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology has found that after a rapid increase in anthropogenic compound named HCFC-133a (CF3CH2Cl), an ozone destroying gas, the atmospheric abundance and emissions have sharply declined in the past three years. The reason for this sharp drop remains a mystery. Study authors found that a Northern Hemisphere HCFC-133a increase ...

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The 2015 ozone hole over Antarctic larger than usual and late

The annual Antarctic ozone hole was larger than usual this year and formed later than in recent years, according to the scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The ozone hole reached its maximum on October 2, 2015, covering the fourth largest area in the period between 1991 and 2014. The 2015 Antarctic ozone hole peaked ...

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Ozone hole behind colorful nacreous clouds over the UK and Ireland

Polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) are appearing over the United Kingdom and Ireland since January 31, 2016. An extremely rare occurrence for this area, usually restricted to the Arctic Circle, has been photographed by numerous skywatchers. According to experts, the phenomenon is caused by a temporary ozone hole over the UK and Ireland. The PSCs, also known as nacreous clouds, appeared almost every day over ...

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