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Archive for the ‘ozone hole’ Category

Arctic Ozone at Record Low: Scandinavia is Toast

Posted by feww on April 5, 2011

Damage to Arctic Ozone Layer Reaches Record High

Record depletion of Arctic ozone layer is causing increased UV radiation in Scandinavia: AWI

Ozone-depleting chemicals such as the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and extended cold stratospheric temperatures have depleted 40% of the ozone in the stratosphere this week, against a previous high of 30%.


OMI Npole Image. Click images to enlarge.


OMI Global Image.

“Over the past few days ozone-depleted air masses extended from the north pole to southern Scandinavia leading to higher than normal levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation during sunny days in southern Finland. These air masses will move east over the next few days, covering parts of Russia and perhaps extend as far south as the Chinese/Russian border. Such excursions of ozone-depleted air may also occur over Central Europe and could reach as far south as the Mediterranean.”  Said Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association (AWI).

Atmospheric researcher Dr. Markus Rex of AWI was quoted as saying that the damage to the Arctic ozone layer is “unparalleled.”


The Arctic Ozone Hole. Image Source: AWI

“Such massive ozone loss has so far never occurred in the northern hemisphere, which is densely populated even at high latitudes,” AWI researcher Markus Rex said. More …

Related Links

Posted in environment, ozone, ozone depletion, ozone hole | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

UV exposure has increased over the last 30 years

Posted by feww on March 17, 2010

UV exposure has increased over the last 30 years, but stabilized since the mid-1990s

For Public Consumption: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

NASA scientists analyzing 30 years of satellite data have found that the amount of ultraviolet (UV) radiation reaching Earth’s surface has increased markedly over the last three decades. Most of the increase has occurred in the mid-and-high latitudes, and there’s been little or no increase in tropical regions.


Ultraviolet radiation can damage [destroys] DNA by distorting [tearing apart] its structure. Source: NASA

The new analysis shows, for example, that at one line of latitude — 32.5 degrees — a line that runs through central Texas in the northern hemisphere and the country of Uruguay in the southern hemisphere, 305 nanometer UV levels have gone up by some 6 percent on average since 1979.

The primary culprit: decreasing levels of stratospheric ozone, a colorless gas that acts as Earth’s natural sunscreen by shielding the surface from damaging UV radiation.

The finding reinforces previous observations that show UV levels are stabilizing after countries began signing an international treaty that limited the emissions of ozone-depleting gases in 1987. The study also shows that increased cloudiness in the southern hemisphere over the 30-year period has impacted UV.

Jay Herman, a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., stitched together data from several earth observing satellites — including NASA’s Aura satellite, NOAA weather satellites, and commercial satellites — to draw his conclusions. The results were published in the Journal of Geophysical Research in February.

“Overall, we’re still not where we’d like to be with ozone, but we’re on the right track,” said Jay Herman. “We do still see an increase in UV on a 30-year timescale, but it’s moderate, it could have been worse, and it appears to have leveled off.”

In the tropics, the increase has been minimal, but in the mid-latitudes it has been more obvious. During the summer, for example, UV has increased by more than 20 percent in Patagonia and the southern portions of South America. It has risen by nearly 10 percent in Buenos Aires, a city that’s about the same distance from the equator as Little Rock, Ark. At Washington, D.C.’s latitude — about 35 degrees north — UV has increased by about 9 percent since 1979.

The southern hemisphere tends to have more UV exposure because of the ozone hole, a seasonal depletion of the ozone layer centered on the South Pole. There are also fewer particles of air pollution — which help block UV — due to the comparatively small numbers of people who live in the southern hemisphere.

Despite the overall increases, there are clear signs that ultraviolet radiation levels are on the verge of falling. Herman’s analysis, which is in agreement with a World Meteorological Report [surprise, surprise!]  published in recent years, shows that decreases in ozone and corresponding increases in UV irradiance leveled off in the mid-nineties.

The Many Sides of Radiation

Shorter ultraviolet wavelengths of light contain more energy than the infrared or visible portions of sunlight that reach Earth’s surface. Because of this, UV photons can break atmospheric chemical bonds and cause complex health effects.

Longer wavelengths (from 320 to 400 nanometers) — called UV-A — cause sunburn and cataracts. Yet, UV-A can also improve health by spurring the production of Vitamin D, a substance that’s critical for calcium absorption in bones and that helps stave off a variety of chronic diseases.

UV-B, which has slightly shorter wavelengths (from 320 to 290 nanometers), damages DNA by tangling and distorting its ladder-like structure, causing a range of health problems such as skin cancer and diseases affecting the immune system.

As part of his study, Herman developed a mathematical technique to quantify the biological impacts of UV exposure. He examined and calculated how changing levels of ozone and ultraviolet irradiance affect life. For Greenbelt, Md., for example, he calculated that a 7 percent increase in UV yielded a 4.4 percent increase in the damage to skin, a 4.8 percent increase in damage to DNA, a 5 percent increase in Vitamin D production, and less than a percent of increase in plant growth.

“If you go to the beach these days, you’re at slightly higher risk of getting skin cancer (without protection),” Herman said, though he noted the risk would have been even greater in the absence of regulations on ozone-depleting substances.

Last year, one of Herman’s Goddard colleagues, Paul Newman, published a study showing that the ozone hole likely would have become a year-round fixture and UV radiation would increase 650 percent by 2065 in mid-latitude cities if not for the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty signed in 1987 that limited the amount of ozone-depleting gases countries could emit.

Clouds and Hemispheric Dimming

In addition to analyzing ozone and ultraviolet trends, Herman also used satellite data to study whether changes in cloudiness have affected UV trends. To his surprise, he found that increased cloudiness in the southern hemisphere produced a dimming effect that increased the shielding from UV compared to previous years.

In the higher latitudes especially, he detected a slight reduction — typically of 2 to 4 percent — in the amount of UV passing through the atmosphere and reaching the surface due to clouds. “It’s not a large amount, but it’s intriguing,” Herman said. “We aren’t sure what’s behind it yet.”

Vitali Fioletov, a Canadian scientist and member of the World Meteorological Organization’s advisory group on ultraviolet radiation, agreed that Herman’s findings about cloudiness warrant additional investigation. “I found the cloud effects on the global scale to be the most interesting aspect of the study,” he said. “This isn’t something you could see without satellites.”

Herman synthesized measurements from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) aboard Nimbus 7 and Earth Probe, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite, NASA’s Sea-Viewing Wide Field-of-view sensor (SeaWiFS) on the commercial SeaStar satellite, and the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Instrument (SBUV) on several polar orbiting NOAA weather satellites.

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Related Links:

Global increase in UV irradiance during the past 30 years (1979�) estimated from satellite data
www.agu.org/pubs/

New Simulation Shows Consequences of a World Without Earth’s Natural Sunscreen
www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/world_avoided

Ozone Hole Watch
ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov

Ultraviolet Radiation: How it Affects Life on Earth
earthobservatory.nasa.gov

Related Links:

Posted in Aura satellite, DNA Damage, ozone hole, SBUV, stratospheric ozone | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why NASA Doctors Ozone Hole Data?

Posted by feww on September 21, 2007

White Elephant Update:

Fire Earth has made several attempts to contact NASA to find out why they are doctoring the Antarctic ozone hole data. NASA has not responded.

There is a general consensus of opinion among the Fire Earth contributing members concerning the reasons why NASA is doctoring the ozone hole data. Here are some answers to the 64 billion dollar question why the white elephant is misbehaving:

1. White House has ordered NASA to doctor the Data. NASA is under immense political pressure to assure the world community that all is well [sic], everything is under control [sic] and there is no longer any need to worry about the ozone hole [despite all evidence to the contrary!]

2. The ozone hole phenomenon is bad news for corporate business. It flies directly in the face of technology and technological “achievements.”

3. The ozone hole is a huge burden, an undesirable “cost” that NASA and the Government won’t internalize. [Therefore it’s being swept under the rug.]

4. NASA would put itself in a bad light if it continues to report the bad news, which is getting even worse.

5. If you can’t fix it, don’t bloody well talk about it.

6. NASA is under enormous pressure to prove Montreal Protocol has been “a resounding success,” despite the fact that Antarctic ozone hole is enlarging!

7. NASA is suppressing the Antarctic ozone hole data at the behest of the Australian and New Zealand governments [and others] for political, monetary and socioeconomic reasons.

8. Hiding behind lies, disinformation and abstractions.

9. Other additional reasons.

 

Posted in australia, environment, government, new zealand, news, ozone hole, politics, space | 1 Comment »

Google Blocks Damaging Info on NASA

Posted by feww on September 15, 2007

[REPOSTED]

Fire Earth couldn’t quite understand, after they caught NASA red-handed cooking the ozone hole data (see previous posts), why this site was effectively blocked by Google. Then the following came to light:

NASA provides unparalleled parking spot for private 767 of Google’s billionaire founders

The Independent UK; By David Usborne in New York, Published: 14 September 2007

“The men, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, have landed a privileged parking deal for their Boeing 767 that makes all other executive perks look pedestrian. Since last month, the Google Twins, as they are sometimes known, have been allowed exclusive use of a nearby private airstrip owned by NASA, no less.”

“The Google 767 has been completely refurbished with bedrooms for each of the founders and seats only fifty passengers at its rear.” Read Full Article…

Seems like the obvious answer, doesn’t it? How would you vote if defending some “derisory” issue such as freedom of speech meant you couldn’t fly in your bedroom and land next door to your office?

Unfortunately, the real reasons are much more sinister and are to do with, in Ed Crane’s words, “the subjugation and exploitation of a great majority of people by an elite few by what has been appropriately termed the ‘ruling class’.”

Posted in breaking news, environment, Global Warming, Google, nasa, ozone hole | Leave a Comment »

NASA’s Ozone Hole Data Doctored?

Posted by feww on September 10, 2007

What’s Wrong With NASA’s Antarctic Ozone Hole Data?

Current entries: Ozone Hole Watch!

Previous data:  July 1979 – Present

NASA’s Antarctic Ozone Hole Data

Posted in damage control, disinformation, doctored data, nasa, ozone hole | 5 Comments »