Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

Ozone Layer Recovery Limited To Polar Regions, Continues Thinning Elsewhere

Ozone-layer Ozone Layer Recovery Limited To Polar Regions, Continues Thinning Elsewhere
Theresa Hayes | 06 February, 2018, 18:45

William Ball from ETH Zurich and PMOD/WRC Davos, who led the analysis, said: "The finding of declining low-latitude ozone is surprising, since our current best atmospheric circulation models do not predict this effect".

The ozone layer forms in a section of the atmosphere which is called the stratosphere.

In addition, a new research has revealed that ozone layer which wraps the whole Earth is thinning in the lower stratosphere over the non-polar areas. According to the study, the bottom part of the ozone layer at more populated latitudes is not healing and the scientists could not find out why. With the decline sited over some of the most populous places on Earth, this decrease could be even more damaging than the Antarctic hole.

Ozone is a molecule comprised of three oxygen atoms that occurs naturally in small amounts. As per the new report published on Tuesday in the European Geosciences Union journal Atmosphere, Chemistry and Physics informed that the protective Ozone layer is not recovering at more populated latitude.

In 1987, countries of the world agreed to the Montreal Protocol, a treaty created to phase out chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, responsible for destroying ozone in the stratosphere.

"The future evolution of ozone layer will depend on the interplay between emissions of non-Montreal Protocol controlled [ozone depleting substances], and on what happens with our climate", said Paul Young, a climate scientist also based at Lancaster University, in an emailed comment.

In the 1970s it came to know that, CFCs was severely affecting and destroying the ozone layer in the stratosphere.

Prof Joanna Haigh, global research team member and Co-Director at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment of Imperial College London said in a statement that, "The study is in lower to mid-latitudes, where the sunshine is more intense, so that is not a good signal for skin cancer". Researchers had long assumed that VSLSs' short lifetime would keep them from reaching the stratosphere, but a 2015 Nature Geoscience study suggested that the substances may account for as much as 25% of the lower stratosphere's ozone losses.

But boffins discovered ozone, a substance that absorbs UV radiation from the sun, is not healing at lower latitudes between 60N and 60S.

The scientists were surprised by the results that defied the expectations of the already existing models. Climate change has been affecting the atmospheric circulation pattern which carried out ozone from the tropic.

But the study by Ball and his colleagues - a team of scientists including researchers based in the United States, Britain, Canada, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland - focused instead on the lower latitudes where the vast majority of humans live. One suggestion by the authors of the paper include the use of chlorine and bromine-containing chemicals known as very short-lived substances (VSLSs), used in paint strippers and solvents.