Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Science Article Summary - 3

Science Article Summary - 3

The Ozone Hole Is Mending. Now for the ‘But.’

[1] S.N. Bhanoo, “The Ozone Hole Is Mending. Now for the ‘But.’,” The New York Times, p. A7, Jan. 2010. [Online]. Available: [Accessed Jan. 27, 2010].

After many years of fighting over the truth and effects of Global Warming scientists have now found that the ozone layer which attributes to the warming is actually fixing itself, but there is a catch. Instead of helping to reverse the warming, the closing of the hole will lead to a growth in global warming over certain parts of the world. Since the hole began, it has been creating an environment with forceful winds that sweeps sea salt into the sky. This salt then forms to make light reflecting clouds over the Antarctic continent which reduces the effects of global warming. With the ozone hole closing this entire heat-restricting shield won't be there to save the Antarctic ice cap from rapid melting until the problems of global warming have been fixed in its entirety.

Judith Perlwitz, a University of Colorado professor notes that although these findings are true, they may not interpreted correctly. She notes that since greenhouse gas emissions are expected to continue to rise over the next several years then so will the temperatures on Earth too. The hopes are that this temperature rise will cause wind speeds around the Antarctic to increase again, creating an identical effect which would once again save the Antarctic from such rapid melting.

This ozone hole, which many learn about in school, is a direct consequence of our use of a chemical called chlorofluorocarbons which were found in early refrigerators and aerosol cans. Luckily in 1987 many countries phased out the compound, but the damage was already done. The World Meteorological Organization's most recent report notes that the ozone hole will not be back to its pre-chlorofluorocarbon state until at least 2060, showing just how bad this harmful chemical really is.

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