Monday, April 4, 2011

Interesting facts about ozone holes

Term ozone hole refers to seasonal shrinkage of stratospheric ozone over Earth's polar regions.

The freons (CFC compounds) are the main destructive force behind the creation of ozone holes. It has to be said that CFCs were banned in most countries because of their negative impact on depletion of the ozone layer.

Ozone is important for all life on our planet because ozone layer protects us from excessive ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

The 2011 ozone loss at Arctic looks to be reaching a record level. The scientific measurements in the February/March 2011 showed that around half of the ozone that was present above the Arctic has been destroyed in couple of weeks time.

The scientists believe there is a strong link between the climate change and ozone holes but the interactions between the ozone layer and climate change haven't been completely understood yet and are the subject of many ongoing researches.

Despite this year's negative news regarding the ozone holes at Arctic and Antarctica many scientists believe that long-term ozone layer recovery is realistic to expect because of international environmental policy measures (Montreal Protocol) enacted for its protection.

Scientists are still not certain whether ozone depletion is somewhat connected with the decrease of Antarctic ice or not.

Ozone hole above Antarctica typically starts in September and lasts till early December.

Scientists are constantly analyzing ozone hole chemistry in order to be able to make more accurate predictions of polar ozone loss above Antarctica and Arctic.

Some scientists believe that the efforts in healing the ozone hole above Antarctica could actually increase the global warming impact in the Southern hemisphere.

Currently the largest ozone-depleting substance is Nitrous oxide. Scientists believe that this substance will remain the largest contributor to ozone holes throughout the entire 21st century.

Scientists still haven't discovered concrete evidence that would link ozone depletion to higher incidence of skin cancer in human beings.