Ozone_hole_Cambridge -...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
1 http://www.atm.ch.cam.ac.uk/tour/part3.html Part III. The Science of the Ozone Hole Introduction Evidence that human activities affect the ozone layer has been building up over the last 20 years, ever since scientists first suggested that the release of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere could reduce the amount of ozone over our heads. The breakdown products (chlorine compounds) of these gases were detected in the stratosphere. When the ozone hole was detected, it was soon linked to this increase in these chlorine compounds. The loss of ozone was not restricted to the Antarctic - at around the same time the first firm evidence was produced that there had been an ozone decrease over the heavily populated northern mid-latitudes (30-60N). However, unlike the sudden and near total loss of ozone over Antarctica at certain altitudes, the loss of ozone in mid-latitudes is much less and much slower - only a few percentage per year. However, it is a very worrying trend and one which is the subject of intense scientific research at present. Many of these findings have since been reinforced by a variety of internationally supported scientific investigations involving satellites, aircraft, balloons and ground stations, and the implications are still being quantified and assessed. The Recipe for Ozone Loss In trying to understand how the ozone loss occurs and the things that need to happen to destroy so much ozone, it helps to think of it as a 'recipe'. We need several ingredients to make the ozone loss occur. We'll now look at these 'ingredients' one at a time. The Special Features of Polar Meteorology We start by looking at the way the atmosphere behaves over the poles - the features of the meteorology in the stratosphere . The figure to the right shows schematically what happens over Antarctica during winter. During the winter polar night, sunlight does not reach the south pole. A strong circumpolar wind develops in the middle to lower stratosphere. These strong winds are known as the ' polar vortex '. This has the effect of isolating the air over the polar region. Since there is no sunlight, the air within the polar vortex can get very cold. So cold that special clouds can form once the air temperature gets to below about -80C. These clouds are called Polar Stratospheric Clouds (or PSCs for short) but they are not the clouds that
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 07/22/2008 for the course CHEM 115b taught by Professor Reisler during the Spring '08 term at USC.

Page1 / 5

Ozone_hole_Cambridge -...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online