D’Aleo on ozone hole: “It is very likely to have been there forever”

Ozone holes in Antarctic and Arctic relate to cold rebounds from warming events

By Joseph D’Aleo, Weatherbell.com

The ozone hole above the Antarctic has reached its maximum extent for the year, revealing a gouge in the protective atmospheric layer that rivals the size of North America, scientists have announced.

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Spanning about 9.7 million square miles (25 million square kilometers), the ozone hole over the South Pole reached its maximum annual size on Sept. 14, 2011, coming in as the fifth largest on record. The largest Antarctic ozone hole ever recorded occurred in 2006, at a size of 10.6 million square miles (27.5 million square km), a size documented by NASA’s Earth-observing Aura satellite.

The Antarctic ozone hole was first discovered in the late 1970s by the first satellite mission that could measure ozone, a spacecraft called POES and run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The hole has continued to grow steadily during the 1980s and 90s, though since early 2000 the growth reportedly leveled off. Even so scientists have seen large variability in its size from year to year.

On the Earth’s surface, ozone is a pollutant, but in the stratosphere it forms a protective layer that reflects ultraviolet radiation back out into space, protecting us from the damaging UV rays. Years with large ozone holes are now more associated with very cold winters over Antarctica and high polar winds that prevent the mixing of ozone-rich air outside of the polar circulation with the ozone-depleted air inside, the scientists say.

There is a lot of year to year variability, in 2007, the ozone hole shrunk 30% from the record setting 2006 winter.

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The record setting ozone hole in 2006 (animating here).

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In 2007, it was said: “Although the hole is somewhat smaller than usual, we cannot conclude from this that the ozone layer is recovering already,” said Ronald van der A, a senior project scientist at the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute in the Netherlands.

This year, the ozone region over Antarctica dropped 30.5 million tons, compared to the record-setting 2006 loss of 44.1 million tons. Van der A said natural variations in temperature and atmospheric changes are responsible for the decrease in ozone loss, and is not indicative of a long-term healing.

“This year’s (2007) ozone hole was less centered on the South Pole as in other years, which allowed it to mix with warmer air,” van der A said. Because ozone depletes at temperatures colder than -108 degrees Fahrenheit (-78 degrees Celsius), the warm air helped protect the thin layer about 16 miles (25 kilometers) above our heads.  As winter arrives, a vortex of winds develops around the pole and isolates the polar stratosphere. When temperatures drop below -78C (-109F), thin clouds form of ice, nitric acid, and sulphuric acid mixtures. Chemical reactions on the surfaces of ice crystals in the clouds release active forms of CFCs. Ozone depletion begins, and the ozone “hole” appears.

Over the course of two to three months, approximately 50% of the total column amount of ozone in the atmosphere disappears. At some levels, the losses approach 90%. This has come to be called the Antarctic ozone hole. In spring, temperatures begin to rise, the ice evaporates, and the ozone layer starts to recover.

Intense cold in the upper atmosphere of the Arctic last winter activated ozone-depleting chemicals and produced the first significant ozone hole ever recorded over the high northern regions, scientists reported in the journal Nature.

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This year, for the first time scientists also found a depletion of ozone above the Arctic that resembled its South Pole counterpart. “For the first time, sufficient loss occurred to reasonably be described as an Arctic ozone hole,” the researchers wrote.

It was related to a rebound cooling of the polar stratosphere and upper troposphere. Notice the December and early January warmth and VERY NEGATIVE AO and the pop of the AO and rapid cooling starting in January.

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The Antarctic after a record negative polar warming, turned colder in mid to late winter (starting in late August).

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Also note the scientists mentioning the sulfuric acid mixture’s role in the ozone destruction. Sulfate aerosols are associated with volcanism and the recent high latitude volcanoes in Alaska, Iceland and Chile may have contributed to the blocking (warming). Like a pendulum, a swing to one state, can result in a rebound to the opposite extreme very obvious in the arctic.

The data shows a lot of variability and no real trends after the Montreal protocol banned CFCs. The models had predicted a partial recovery by now. Later scientists adjusted their models and pronounced the recovery would take decades. It may be just another failed alarmist prediction.

Remember we first found the ozone hole when satellites that measure ozone were first available and processed (1985).  It is very likely to have been there forever, varying year to year and decade to decade as solar cycles and volcanic events affected high latitude winter vortex strength. PDF.

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109 Responses to D’Aleo on ozone hole: “It is very likely to have been there forever”

  1. Juraj V. says:

    James Lovelock after Climategate:

    “I have seen this happen before, of course. We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.”

  2. Mike Bromley the Kurd says:

    Back when I first heard of an ozone hole, I thought exactly the same thing….that we just happen to be able to see the dang thing.

  3. Retired Engineer says:

    Hold on thar. I recall reading about ozone hole discovery in the 1950’s by Dutch scientists. Back then they thought it grew larger or smaller with the sunspot cycle. “been there forever”? seems likely as CFC’s weren’t that big a deal in the 50’s.

    One again, we’ve been had.

  4. Scott Covert says:

    Yes, the ozone hole was created in the 70s and there were fewer planets in deep space before the Hubble telescope was online.

  5. Phil. says:

    Get your facts straight D’Aleo, the ozone hole was discovered by the scientists of the British Antarctic Survey based on results dating back to 1956. The rest of the piece is of comparable accuracy.

  6. benfrommo says:

    “Intense cold in the upper atmosphere of the Arctic last winter activated ozone-depleting chemicals and produced the first significant ozone hole ever recorded over the high northern regions, scientists reported in the journal Nature.”

    Anyone else see the issue in this statement? The number of ways this is wrong just screams for attention from someone.

  7. MangoChutney says:

    when i first read about the hole over the antarctic back in the 70’s, my first thought was “how do they know it’s caused by cfc’s if they have only just discoveredit?”, but then i was convinced by the argument

    looks like i should’ve trusted my instincts

  8. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Years with large ozone holes are now more associated with very cold winters over Antarctica and high polar winds that prevent the mixing of ozone-rich air outside of the polar circulation with the ozone-depleted air inside, the scientists say.”

    A more zonal atmospheric circulation tends to seal off the poles from ingress of wamer air from lower latitudes.

    A more meridional atmospheric circulation allows flows of air in and out of the polar regions more frequently.

    The former is a feature of positive Arctic and Antarctic Oscillations whereas the latter is a featutre of negative such oscillations.

    Now it is increasingly becoming acknowledged that a top down solar effect may have an influence on the state of those Polar Oscillations. In particular those Oscillations were generally positive with poleward jetstreams during the late 20th century warming period and with the recent record solar quietness (compared to recent solar cycles) there was also record negativity in the Polar Oscillations and evidence of more meridional jetstreams.

    So the evidence is building that larger ozone holes are a feature of higher solar activity which causes more positive Polar Oscillations.

    Probably never any need to have invoked CFCs as a causative agent in the first place.

  9. Neo says:

    The data shows a lot of variability and no real trends after the Montreal protocol banned CFCs. The models had predicted a partial recovery by now.

    I’ve seen this movie before.

  10. mkelly says:

    Remember we first found the ozone hole when satellites that measure ozone were first available and processed (1985).

    This just is not valid. Dobson found the ozone hole in 1956 that is who the units are named for. How many times he measured it I am not sure, but the fundamental knowledge of it is well prior to the 1980’s.

  11. MikeH says:

    Is there any ‘proxy’ data to show a historical view of the ozone hole? Tree rings maybe? Any ‘hockey stick’ graphs to show the hole greatly expanded when my mother used her Aqua-Net hair spray?

    Just askin’

  12. Stephen Wilde says:

    I should add that due to the high level of weather induced annual variability it would be possible to observe large ozone holes during a period of generally low solar activity and vice versa.

    I think the general background solar induced trend is only apparent over decades and even more apparent over centuries. The most significant timescale being that from MWP to LIA to date.

  13. TheGoodLocust says:

    We have to keep this probable myth alive since disproving it would cast doubt on the “settled science” of global warming.

  14. Retired Engineer is right on. Little was know about the Ozone hole until the 80’s but that is not to mean it was not there. This foolishness is just another case of Anthro-Ego overruling good science.

  15. pittzer says:

    I am not a scientist, so please bear with me if my questions, and some of my conclusions, seem simple.

    I have always been perplexed by the phenomenon by which CFCs that we produce cause depletion of our ozone layer. Actually, amazed is a better word to describe my reaction. As far as I can tell, CFCs act much more like an organism than a simple carbon compound. They exhibit preference, motivation and motility.

    Let me explain. CFCs are relatively heavy compounds. Anyone knows that in a chlorine gas spill, the worst place to be is in low areas. The gas pools here because it is heavier than air. Presumably, CFCs would do the same given their first element is chlorine. Correct me if I’m wrong.

    How then do heavier than air molecules go from dwelling near the surface of the planet to flying high in the stratosphere? Further, how do they migrate from areas that are far from the south pole and become concentrated there?

    Next, we know our cars and industry produce ozone. We also know this ozone tends to pool around cities, especially in the summer time when there is high atmospheric pressure in place. Why don’t the CFCs we release readily bond with that ozone?

    So, what we have here is a molecule that is capable of defying gravity, deciding it prefers “organic” ozone to the man-made variety AND it is capable of flying across the globe to meet up with all the other CFCs at a south pole convention where there is a giant buffet of organic ozone waiting for them.

    F-ing amazing.

  16. MikeH says:

    Benfrommo stated:
    “Intense cold in the upper atmosphere of the Arctic last winter activated ozone-depleting chemicals and produced the first significant ozone hole ever recorded over the high northern regions, scientists reported in the journal Nature.”

    Anyone else see the issue in this statement? The number of ways this is wrong just screams for attention from someone.

    Now, I never took chemistry in high school, but from what my basic understanding is that a chemical reaction will be accelerated with the introduction of heat (energy). Example, white vinegar in a tea kettle, heat it up to clean out the calcium deposits faster. But the removal of heat (energy) will slow down chemical reactions. Am I wrong in this basic understanding?

    Is there a chemical reaction that takes place when heat is removed? What chemicals are they referencing that are being activated?

  17. Martin Clauss says:

    Retired Engineer and Mike Kelly above have already stated what I remember: Dr. Dobson knew of the ‘thinning’ of the ozone ( I will NEVER call it a ‘hole’) layer in the 1950s, and that it was seasonal. I looked into this quite a bit when the ‘ban the Freon’ movement in the 1990s was going on, and was surprised that the ‘science’ appeared shoddy as compared to the claims ( . . gee why does that sound familair . . . :-) ).
    And to ‘link the ozone thinning with CAGW’, I recall reading an article ( . .can’t find it now . . ) where I think Will Happer (from Princeston U, when he was an advisor in the Clinton administration) stated that the freon/ozone issue was a ‘primer to CAGW and controlling CO2.
    Yeah, this may sound a bit too ‘conspiracy theory’, but one just has to look at the comparisons of how they have been ‘peddled’ to the populus. . .

  18. CodeTech says:

    Every time I read someone excitedly extolling the virtues of the Montreal protocol, thinking we “fixed” a problem with the Ozone… my estimate of their IQ drops by about 40.

    Yeah, I still consider this one a “dress rehearsal”, and we’re watching the main show now. The entire argument was emotional and political… with very little in the way of Science, except as a prop.

  19. Mike From Canmore says:

    Junk science has some good data on historical ozone levels based on dobson’s work
    Gotta catch my plane so don’t have time to find the exact link

  20. Ged says:

    I’m still waiting for someone to explain the huge buildup of ozone around the perimeter of the ozone holes. Higher than anywhere else on the planet, and also disappear when the holes disappear for the season. Explain their mechanism of creation and how they relate to the holes.

  21. Dave says:

    The statement, “On the Earth’s surface, ozone is a pollutant, but in the stratosphere it forms a protective layer that reflects ultraviolet radiation back out into space, protecting us from the damaging UV rays” gave pause. Doesn’t VU-C and shorter wave radiation split O2 and create ‘free’ O atoms that react with other O2 molecules to form O3 in the stratosphere? And, isn’t O3 highly reactive making it a generally a short-lived molecule in the atmosphere?

    Ozone holes appear in polar Winter when the regions are not exposed to solar radiation as they are continuously facing away from the Sun. Circumpolar winds creating a vortex blocking mixing of polar air with that of lower latitudes plus natural degradation of pre-winter stratospheric O3 supply through reaction with other air molecules (with or without CFCs) plus NO UV to create new, replacement O3 seems to explain polar ozone holes quite well.

  22. toto says:

    I know it’s not commonly expected, but I actually went and read the real reports, just to see if they really said what Joe says they did.

    Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 1994 – World Meteorological Organization Global Ozone Research and Monitoring Project -


    Based on assumed compliance with the amended Montreal Protocol (Copenhagen, 1992) by all nations, the stratospheric chlorine abundances will continue to grow from their current levels (3.6 ppb) to a peak of about 3.8 ppb around the turn of the century [...] Peak global ozone losses are expected to occur during the next several years [Note: Remember this is a 1994 report]. The ozone layer will be most affected by human-influenced perturbations and susceptible to natural variations in the period around the year 1998, since the peak stratospheric chlorine and bromine abundances are expected to occur then.

    And just to point out the difference between “stabilization” and “recovery”:

    Global ozone losses and the Antarctic ozone “hole” were first discernible in the late 1970s and are predicted to recover in about the year 2045, other things being equal. (Note: the Arctic hole is expected to recover more slowly than global levels).

    Joe’s own article above briefly mentions a date of “early 2000″ for stabilization of ozone levels. Here is the source – see the graphs at the bottom-left. Believe it or not, the ozone hole does stabilize (whether in area or intensity) around the late 90s. Exactly as predicted in the above report.

    If you reject this source, consider that it is also the ultimate source for Joe’s claim of a record 2006 ozone hole.

    tl;dr: the Ozone hole is behaving exactly as predicted in a 1994 report. Joe’s claims to the contrary are refuted by simply reading said reports and original data about the ozone hole.

  23. Laurie Bowen says:

    1956 to the present is not enough data to establish any kind of longer term cycles . . . . therefore much less for the variations in shorter term cycles. . . . in my opinion.

    But, that does not mean models prognosticating how it works and fits into the big picture can/will/have not be(en) formed . . . which truly is in the nature of human nature . . .

  24. ckb says:

    pittzer: It is truly freaky, but appears to be absolutely true. The molecules do get into the upper atmosphere and congreate at the poles. The explanation from wikipedia is quoted below, visit the “CFC” page for references:

    Since the late 1970s, the use of CFCs has been heavily regulated because of their destructive effects on the ozone layer. After the development of his electron capture detector, James Lovelock was the first to detect the widespread presence of CFCs in the air, finding a mole fraction of 60 ppt of CFC-11 over Ireland. In a self-funded research expedition ending in 1973, Lovelock went on to measure CFC-11 in both the Arctic and Antarctic, finding the presence of the gas in each of 50 air samples collected, and concluding that CFCs are not hazardous to the environment. The experiment did however provide the first useful data on the presence of CFCs in the atmosphere. The damage caused by CFCs was discovered by Sherry Rowland and Mario Molina who, after hearing a lecture on the subject of Lovelock’s work, embarked on research resulting in the first publication suggesting the connection in 1974. It turns out that one of CFCs’ most attractive features—their low reactivity— is key to their most destructive effects. CFCs’ lack of reactivity gives them a lifespan that can exceed 100 years, giving them time to diffuse into the upper stratosphere. Once in the stratosphere, the sun’s ultraviolet radiation is strong enough to cause the homolytic cleavage of the C-Cl bond.

    End quote. As an aside, CFCs are some of the most potent greenhouse gasses we know of.

  25. Thanks Joseph,
    Remember we first found the ozone hole when satellites that measure ozone were first available and processed (1985). It is very likely to have been there forever, varying year to year and decade to decade as solar cycles and volcanic events affected high latitude winter vortex strength.
    Yes, the ozone hole, not having been seen before satellites could measure its depth and extent sounds more like a feature of our atmophere than a bug caused by mankind.

  26. MikeinAppalachia says:

    Dobson recorded the thinning of ozone starting with ground-based measurements in (around) 1956. The British Antarctic Survey (“BAS”)continued these. The “discovery” credit is usually given to Shanklin, et al for their Nature paper in 1985-a summary of BAS data. But satellite measurements of the seasonal thinning started in the early 1970’s and were confirmed by Nimbus-7 around 1978.
    Lab studies by Molina/Rowland in 1974-75 demonstrated that CFC’s exposed to UV and at cold temps would deplete ozone. Never said that was the only mechanism for depletion.
    USA banned CFC’s from aerosols in 1978.

  27. Tad says:

    Weren’t there laws passed that were supposed to get rid of this ozone hole? I distinctly remember hearing about such things. Yes, it was Freon and the stuff in hair sprays that were outlawed, right? Well if those were the causes of the ozone hole, how come it’s just as big as it ever was? Are countries like China still using Freon and the bad hairspray stuff? Or is this perhaps not due to chemicals created by mankind? I don’t know much about this. And why haven’t we heard a peep about this since the hysteria 20 years ago?

  28. toto says:

    Also, regarding the “it was already observed in the 50s” canard: Dobson observed a difference between Arctic and Antarctic levels at a given time of year. This is not the same thing as the Antarctic ozone hole, which was discovered in the 80s (not by satellite observations).

    You don’t even need to read the actual reports for that (though you should), it’s explained on Wikipedia.

  29. J says:

    Here’s a plot of total column ozone over Antarctica during October, from the mid 1950s to the present:

    http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/facts/history.html

    Prior to 1978, every single October measurement is above 250 Dobson Units.
    During the 1980s, there is a roughly linear decline from 250 to less than 150 DU. That decline stabilizes after the passage of the Montreal Protocol.

    It’s true that, prior to the introduction of CFCs, there was a regular (but small) seasonal decrease in Antarctic ozone. But the magnitude of the current ozone hole is much larger, and is definitively an artifact of CFCs.

  30. Erl Happ says:

    There is another interpretation that may be of interest. Bear in mind that Low AO (Arctic Oscillation) and AAO (Antarctic Oscillation) represent high polar atmospheric pressure and relatively low pressure in the mid and low latitudes.

    Briefly, high polar pressure is associated with increased night jet activity. The night jet represents a downdraft of mesospheric air into the stratosphere with dramatic effect on the ozone content and temperature of the upper stratosphere between 1hpa and 50hPa. The night jet introduces oxides of nitrogen from the mesosphere. These chemicals erode ozone.

    When polar pressure is high, the temperature of the upper stratosphere falls. At the poles the stratosphere and the troposphere are coupled in convection, particularly in winter when the cold point of the atmospheric column rises to 20hpa, well into the upper stratosphere. A loss of ozone aloft slows convection. The tendency for air to settle over the pole when convection is weak is then enhanced, ozone is brought closer to the surface and the air below 100hpa is seen to warm, as we see with the red zones in the geopotential height diagrams above that are associated with low AO and AAO. The ability of ozone to trap outgoing radiation at 9.6 micrometres is critical to the temperature inversion that is the stratosphere.

    Polar pressure cycles on long time scales. The AAO has been rising for sixty years and this winter we see it falling. The AO fell between 1950 and 1978, rose until the mid 1990s and has been falling since.

    There are two vortexes to consider. Those focused on the stratosphere look at the night jet vortex. Those focused on surface dynamics look at the ‘front’ between the cold easterlies of polar origin and the warm westerly’s of sub tropical origin. But the front advances and retreats just as the front between two armies that are at war advances and retreats. When polar pressure increases the easterlies prevail bringing cold winters to the major continents. The easterlies are no longer ‘corralled’ by the westerly’s, a nonsense concept that reveals a lack of appreciation of changing pressure dynamics. The notion of ‘blocking highs’ represents too close a focus on the lower atmosphere and too little focus on the stratosphere where the situation responsible for the blocking manifests.

    It is entirely natural that the southern hemisphere is relatively devoid of ozone at the end of winter after months of enhanced night jet activity.

    One observes that warming in the lower layers of the atmosphere at the poles, mostly below 100hpa, is associated with cooling aloft and vice versa. This is an observation that is the key to understanding atmospheric dynamics at the poles and the evolution of temperature in winter. ‘Climate change’ is all about winter temperature when atmospheric pressure at the pole becomes so influential.

    It is theorised that low UV associated with low solar acticvity is responsible for cold winters. It has become necessary to account for these winters so the story must change. But low UV is not even the half of it and understanding of polar atmsopheric processes has a long way to go before even eminent meteroroligists like Joe d’Aleo can tell the whole story.

  31. crosspatch says:

    It takes sunlight to create ozone. Ozone is unstable and will “deplete” on its own unless it is replenished in some way.

    In winter the sun does not shine on the atmosphere of the pole, it is in the shadow of the Earth. There is nothing to make ozone. In winter, the polar air is sequestered from air at lower latitudes by a circumpolar jet preventing mixing with ozone rich air at lower latitude.

    Ozone has no choice but to “deplete” under those conditions. It is naturally unstable and even destroys itself and it is cut off from all known sources of replenishment. It was there the first time we looked.

    Here is what likely happened:

    Some scientists noticed the ozone hole and saw a great opportunity for research that they could base a career on. Press releases were put out about this amazingly huge ozone hole including some speculation on how it might be harmful. Some politician or political faction takes up the theme running with the speculation until that leads to further speculation on what might be the “cause” of it. Politicians, in their desire to be “doing something” about it, ban all CFCs costing the taxpayers billions and employing a lot of people in “ozone hole research”.

    Later we discover that it has probably been there all along, long after banning CFC’s they haven’t really changed to any significant degree and they are likely related to longer term weather cycles but are subject to considerable variation due to shorter term natural weather variation.

    In summary: A bunch of hype by someone trying to make themselves a career costs global taxpayers billions of dollars and destroyed a US space shuttle killing its crew. In the meantime there is STILL no evidence that atmospheric CFCs have any significant role in ozone hole size and the latest research I have seen shows that the original models were likely off by two orders of magnitude in their estimation of CFC impact on ozone

  32. Marty Altis says:

    The way I see it, the Montreal Protocol passage was a slam dunk after Dupont got on board. Dupont, one of the largest if not the largest CFC producers, had the cunning to come up with CFC light, SUVA. Dupont, foreseeing EVERYONE changing over to a more expensive and harder to handle refrigerant (all be it a less efficient one), they saw the “Money in the Trees” and were happy to shake them.

    When you see an oppurtunity to monopolize an item it only makes sense to have the Gov’ment seal of approval. It was Win-Win for industry and Gov’ment. The rest my friends is history. So much CFC BS

  33. Alan D McIntire says:

    Ozone is unstable and breaks down on its own. Ultraviolet light produces more ozone from the O2 in the atmosphere. Around the poles, we get 6 month long winters. Naturally the ozone breaking down is not replaced by new ozone created from ultraviolet light , because there is no sunlight.

    Once the sun comes up in the spring, the problem takes care of itself. Those ozone shortages are more a measure of air circulation around the poles – weather-than they are of Chlorofluorocarbons.

  34. wsbriggs says:

    pittzer says:
    October 20, 2011 at 8:46 am

    Well said!

    In the late ’60s I worked as a technician in a lab. We used Freon (tm …blah, blah, blah) in a large piece of instrumentation (8′ dia, 25′ long tank) as an insulator. When you opened the charging valve, the freon would blast out and fall to the floor. You could watch the vapors creep along and then drop into a pit. Not exactly lighter than air.

    My question has always been, “Why is the hole in the SH, when 99+% of the freon was used in the NH. Lots of tap dancing around that, but I’ve never had a satisfying answer. You comments made me realize that the probability of CFCs doing any of what they’re charged with, is really remote. They don’t exactly have volcanos of freon like they do of SOx.

  35. Marty Altis says:

    Halon, the grand daddy of CFCs and the projected Bad Boy of Global Warming, is still used on almost evey airline plane in the world because it is the most effective, breathable fire extinguishing gas on the planet. CFC and the ozone hole, oh please help me, help me ( the Fly).

  36. wsbriggs says:

    correction – volcanoes.

  37. commieBob says:

    For those who wonder where the ozone comes from, here’s a link: http://www.atmosphere.mpg.de/enid/1z1.html

    UV radiation from the sun bashes the oxygen molecules around and the result is ozone.

    What gets rid of ozone? Cosmic rays: http://www.theozonehole.com/cosmicray.htm

  38. SidViscous says:

    Dave says:
    October 20, 2011 at 8:58 am

    and

    Alan D McIntire says:
    October 20, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Exactly, I studied this on my own for years after it just didn’t sound right the first time I heard it. Ozone is the result of the protection, not the protection itself, Oxygen is the protection.

  39. SidViscous says:

    Clarification. the “Didn’t sound right” i was talking about was the ozone hole scaremongering.

    UV+O2 = O3, and obviously it absorbs the energy in the process.

  40. Severian says:

    Reminds me of the lyrics to a jazz song “Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde”:

    Do I care about the ozone layer?
    Bout terrestrial suicide?
    Or do I love my new hair sprayer?
    Dr Jeckyll, and Mr Hyde

    Really though, I remember some global green type, can’t recall now, saying that the whole ozone issue was only important because it served as a model for how to create a global response to an issue, a template for moving towards world government and control.

  41. aaron says:

    I wonder if polarity of the solar cycle affects the behavior of the hole.

  42. To stir the pot further, Qing-Bin Lu is proposing solar cycle modulated cosmic rays affect the ozone hole. He predicts:

    The results strength the conclusion that humans were responsible for global warming in late 20th century, but CFCs, rather than CO2, were the major culprit; a long-term global cooling starting around 2002 is expected to continue for next five to seven decades.

    What is the Major Culprit for Global Warming: CFCs or CO2? Journal of Cosmology, 2010, Vol 8, 1846-1862

    Cosmic-ray-driven electron-induced reactions of halogenated molecules absorbed on ice surfaces: Implications for atmospheric ozone depletion and global climate change. Physics Reports 487 (2010)141-167.

    Others dispute this:
    DO COSMIC RAYS INFLUENCE OZONE DEPLETION IN THE ANTARCTIC OZONE HOLE?

    Do cosmic-ray driven electron induced reactions impact stratospheric ozone depletion and global climate change?

    David Stockwell finds a cumulative solar influence

    When the dust settles will we see warming or cooling?
    Will it be natural or anthropogenic causes that primarily drive climate?

    As the Scots say, Not Proven.

  43. kramer says:

    Stephen Wilde says:

    Probably never any need to have invoked CFCs as a causative agent in the first place.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some globalist, ‘interdependence’ and equity reasoning for banning CFCs…

  44. Laurie Bowen says:

    SidViscous says:
    October 20, 2011 at 9:51 am
    UV+O2 = O3

    Is this an additional way to make Ozone?? It was my understanding that it takes O2 plus lightning (natural electricity) to make O3 ???

    I have heard of this O3 being created in H2O with the use of UV from Sunlight . . . . We called it Sun Water. . . .

  45. petermue says:

    AFAIK, historical ozone records are available from Tromsoe/Norway since the end of the 30s.
    As the name “ozone hole” was unknown at that time, they called it “Southern Anomaly”.

    Historical data can be requested at NILU [Tromsø (1939-1972, 1985- 1999)], for those who can decode the data format.

    http://observatories.nilu.no/Default.aspx?tabid=765

    I think, commieBoB is on the right way.

    UV radiation from the sun bashes the oxygen molecules around and the result is ozone.

    Lower UV from a quiet sun could be too weak to break up O2 molecules.

    And, maybe I’m wrong, but some years ago a personal acquaintance, a diploma meteorologist told me about a ~40-year cycle he found in ozone hole swapping from SP to NP.
    I’m not quite sure if he’s right?

  46. lemiere jacques says:

    is it possible to link that change in rotation speed of earth?
    It seems to me the more obvious thing to look at…

  47. I have very limited confidence in the veracity of the ozone data…

    “Nimbus-7 TOMS Instrument and Satellite Information

    The TOMS program began with the launch of TOMS Flight Model #1 on the Nimbus-7 spacecraft on October 24, 1978. Valid measurements started in November of that same year and the instrument continued to return data long after all other on-board experiments had failed. The TOMS instrument fell silent in May 1993. The software to derive useful information from the data returned by Nimbus 7 TOMS is the basis for the algorithm used to analyze all TOMS data and has gone through a lengthly evolutionary process bring it to the current version.The Version 7 processed data include a revised instrument calibration based on analysis of the entire 14.5 year data record (including a correction for a 0.2 nm wavelength error which caused a 3% absolute offset relative to Dobson) as well as an improved algorithm.

    Algorithmic Improvements include:
    use of wavelength “triplets” that correct for errors linear in wavelength
    improved ISCCP cloud height climatology, higher resolution terrain height maps
    use of improved profile shape selection to improve total ozone at very large solar zenith angles
    use of a more accurate model for partially-clouded scenes
    improved radiative transfer calculations for table generation”

    http://toms.gsfc.nasa.gov/n7toms/n7sat.html

    NASA Ozone Data Source:
    The data for 1979–1993 are from the TOMS instrument on the NASA/NOAA Nimbus-7 satellite.
    The data for this 1993–1994 are from the TOMS instrument on the Soviet-built Meteor-3 satellite.
    The data for 1996–October 2004 are from the NASA Earth Probe TOMS satellite.
    The data for November 2004–2011 are from the OMI instrument (KNMI / NASA) onboard the Aura satellite. They are the OMTO3 that have beene processed in a manner similar to the TOMS data from earlier years.

    The ozone minimum is determined only from data actually contained in the processed satellite data. To calculate the ozone hole area and mass deficit, we fill in missing areas (bad orbits and polar night) from an atmospheric model. MERRA is a NASA reanalysis for the satellite era using a major new version of the Goddard Earth Observing System Data Assimilation System Version 5 (GEOS-5). The Project focuses on historical analyses of the hydrological cycle on a broad range of weather and climate time scales and places the NASA EOS suite of observations in a climate context. Since these data are from a reanalysis, they are not up-to-date. So, we supplement with the GEOS-5 FP data that are also produced by the GEOS-5 model in near real time.”

    http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/meteorology/ozone_1990_MERRA_SH.html

    So “long after all other on-board experiments had failed” it produced suspect data, which was then put through “a lengthly evolutionary process” that includes “revised instrument calibration”, “including a correction for a 0.2 nm wavelength error”, “as well as an improved algorithm” that included “a more accurate model for partially-clouded scenes” and “to calculate ozone hole area and mass deficit” they “fill in missing areas (bad orbits and polar night) from an atmospheric model.”

    The “Ozone Hole” data, especially before 1996, seems very suspect and deserves further research and scrutiny…

  48. SidViscous says:

    Laurie Bowen says:
    October 20, 2011 at 10:37 am
    SidViscous says:

    There is more than one way to make ozone, yes electricity makes it as well.

    I know nothing about “sun water”

  49. Further to data quality issues:

    “08-15-2007
    Corrected Earth Probe Data
    correction basis: NOAA-16 SBUV/2 ozone
    time period: August 1996 – December 13, 2005
    data products corrected: ozone, reflectivity

    By mid-2000, the Earth Probe (EP) TOMS instrument degradation became so large that standard correction procedures could no longer produce accurate ozone. The problem is believed to be inhomogeneous degradation of the scanner mirror on TOMS that results in a calibration error that is different at different latitudes. We have warned users that the production EP ozone data should NOT be used for trend analysis.

    We have now applied a correction to the Earth Probe data that stabilizes the EP ozone record. This empirical correction is based on the NOAA-16 SBUV/2 ozone record, with a solar zenith angle dependence that accounts for much of the spurious latitude dependence observed in the current data. Only the ozone and reflectivity records have been corrected. The aerosol index data and SO2 records are more complex and have not been corrected by this empirical correction.

    Comparison with the ground network shows that the resulting ozone is stable within ± 1% over the 1996-2005 period. In the period 2002-2005 in the northern hemisphere, there is a residual seasonally-dependent error of ± 1.5% magnitude. These data should still NOT be used as a source for trend analysis since they are no longer independent.

    http://ozoneaq.gsfc.nasa.gov/news.md

    It seems like the TOMS instrument has a history of issues…

  50. Ged says:

    Still no one commenting on the giant amount of ozone rimming the hole? What happens if you average the ozone concentration for the hole and the entire surrounding, elevated “ridge”?

  51. Ged says:

    For that matter, how does the highly elevated periphery of ozone sit with the CFC theory of depletion?

  52. John Galloway says:

    Can anyone comment about the creation of the ozone? Could it be that the ozone is produced naturally by the atmosphere? The Northern lights are as I understand it a high voltage discharge. If at ground level we have a high voltage spark/flashover/Tesla coil, ozone is created, why cannot this also apply to the upper atmosphere?

  53. Don Keiller says:

    I read somewhere that the Rowland and Molina mechanism for CFC’s (Man made of course) destruction of the ozone layer were too small by a factor of 10.

    Which brings natural variation to the fore.

    Anyone else see this, or post up the link?

  54. sean2829 says:

    I was a student of Sherry Roland and Mario Molina in the late 70’s. Ozone is generated via a steady state process where O2 is broken down to oxygen atoms from UV absorption. Those atoms then combine with O2 molecules to make O3 (ozone) which is a reactive molecule with limited but much better stability than the oxygen radical. When the sun doesn’t shine, ozone is not produced. During the day with the sun shining the stability or residence time of O3 is dependent upon the paths it has to revert to more stable molecules. Things like NOx compounds, SOx compounds and Cl in the stratosphere can accelerate decomposition of the O3 reducing its concentration.

    The CFC-ozone connection was derived as a result of the stability of CFC compounds in the lower atmosphere. Many compounds break down with visible light, near UV or get washed out by the weather. CFC’s were immune to most of these attacks in the lower atmosphere so they had a chance to survive sufficient time that they could be carried all the way to the stratosphere. At these altitudes, there is shorter wavelength UV that can attack the CFC causing it to break down into component atoms. The critical of these is chlorine radical and chlorine oxide that is reactive with O3 causing it to break down more easily. The CFC by itself is really not harmful to the O3, it just a carrier that allows chlorine to reach the startosphere and it breaks down releasing chlorine radical in the same general area where the O3 is formed. The catalytic nature of the chlorine on the decomposition of the O3 provides an additional pathway to consume the O3 formed from the photochemically derived oxygen atoms and O2 in sort of a steady state photochemcical and thermal reaction mix, all at very low partial pressures of gas. So if the formation rate doesn’t change but there are more decomposition pathways, the steady state concentration of the O3 is diminished. It’s all based on kinentics.

    At the poles in the spring you have another carrier for O3 decomposition catalysts, the ice that swirls in the polar vortex all winter long and as mentioned in the article you have a mix of several catalysts (NOx, SOx & Cl) that can be aborbed on their surfaces. The antarctic has a much more stable polar vortex so its not surprising that the antarctic ozone hole has been known and observed regularly. From what I’ve read, the arctic is a lot more preturbed by winds that blow up from the south so it gets mixes with air from the lower latitudes. What i find surprising and very interesting is the link between solar cycles, arctic oscillations and cold weather patterns emerging over Europe with stratospheric heating/cooling from ozone being the driver. Then there are Earl Hap’s theories about how these thing might influence Enso (which I know many people disagree with). What I am wondering now is the world going to get itself wrapped up in worry over over another 3 atom molecule that is much lower in concentration than CO2, about how it might be a driver for weather and climate. This could be an interesting time.

  55. Stephen Wilde says:

    “What i find surprising and very interesting is the link between solar cycles, arctic oscillations and cold weather patterns emerging over Europe with stratospheric heating/cooling from ozone being the driver. ”

    Then try this:

    http://www.irishweatheronline.com/news/environment/climate-news/wilde-weather/feature-how-the-sun-could-control-earths-temperature/290.html

  56. kwik says:

    ckb says:
    October 20, 2011 at 9:02 am

    “…..The explanation from wikipedia is quoted below,…..”

    Wikipedia? LOL !!!

  57. Dave says:

    When the ban on CFCs came into place I research the whole Ozone/Du Pont thing and came to the same conclusion that the ozone hole is part of the earths climate history, that it has always been there and always will until the Sun dies!

  58. R. Shearer says:

    Pittzer, there is always diffusion and entropy. Even “heavy” molecules will eventually diffuse into all other parts of the atmosphere, it just takes time.

  59. Juraj V. says:

    sean2829 says:
    It’s all based on kinetics.
    ————————————
    …So Markus Rex, an atmosphere scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany, did a double-take when he saw new data for the break-down rate of a crucial molecule, dichlorine peroxide (Cl2O2). The rate of photolysis (light-activated splitting) of this molecule reported by chemists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California1, was extremely low in the wavelengths available in the stratosphere — almost an order of magnitude lower than the currently accepted rate. “This must have far-reaching consequences,” Rex says. “If the measurements are correct we can basically no longer say we understand how ozone holes come into being.”

    http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070926/full/449382a.html

  60. higley7 says:

    Dupont’s patent on its most popular CFC had expired. They managed to pump up and fund the ozone hole scare, knowing all along that they had a more expensive alternative ready and waiting. The CFC-based ‘science” fostered by Dupont, has been shown to have been junk science, but it served the purpose at the time. Now we know that most of the ozone degradation involves nitrogen gas and radiation form the Sun. Neither of these are our fault.

    Another in a growing list of scams.

    In another case, two pharmaceutical companies created a way to extend a patent from 17 years to 34 years. The first company patented a drug, the second company contested the patent while it was granted to produce the drug during litigation for a fee. They argued for 17 years and then the first company capitulated and the winning company gets to have the patent for 17 years while the first company produces the drug for a fee. Nothing like ping pong patent law—gotta love it!

  61. jimmi_the_dalek says:

    Sigh,

    “Remember we first found the ozone hole when satellites that measure ozone were first available and processed (1985). It is very likely to have been there forever,”

    Incorrect.

    The killer graph for this meme has already been shown in this thread by J @ 9.14.

    http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/facts/history.html

    Go and look at it carefully.
    What was discovered in the late 70’s/early 80’s was the CHANGE in the ozone concentration. The idea that there were no measurements before that is quite simply a lie.

    And the ozone hole does NOT form in Winter, it forms in the Spring – just go and look it up.

  62. mkelly says:

    sean2829 says:
    October 20, 2011 at 11:31

    I did my college chem paper on this and what you say is correct. But at some point in the 80’s they had to change the mechanism of destruction to PSC’s if memory serves. Cannot remember the P but S was stratospheric and C was crystals. And they never mentioned the volcano in Antarctica belching Cl into the air and had been doing such for years. My conclusion was that the volcano was more likely the source of the Cl than CFC.

  63. Max Hugoson says:

    I cannot believe the transparent error that is made with regard to the “Ozone Hole”.

    Ozone is ALWAYS MADE BY UVII, the higher level UV coming from the sun. The amount made on the POLES is ALWAYS going to be less than towards the equator because of the ANGLE OF INCIDENCE.

    This is Maxiomatic.

    Max

  64. Jim Turner says:

    wsbriggs says:
    “Why is the hole in the SH, when 99+% of the freon was used in the NH”.

    One explanation that I have heard (can’t remember where, though) is that the solar wind, a stream of charged particles ejected by the sun, is not only deflected polewards by the earth’s magnetic field, but is also partitioned into positive (protons) and negative (electrons) particles. These react differently with ozone and result in an excess of ozone depletion at the south pole. My guess is (can’t find a reference) that it is the excess of protons that head south, reacting with ozone to make oxygen and water.

  65. son of mulder says:

    “It is very likely to have been there forever, varying year to year and decade to decade as solar cycles and volcanic events affected high latitude winter vortex strength.”

    Is this meant to surprise me? Everyday the pigeons are slowly coming home to roost.

  66. The process of Ozone formation is due to the difference in magnetic reluctance between the O3 and O2 molecular forms of oxygen, at the temperature found above the poles the magnetic reluctance (resistance to the flow of magnetic energies) of O2 is three orders of magnitude higher than O3, so to conserve the energy flow from the whole electromagnetic spectrum from DC to very energetic particles, it is more efficient to convert O2 to O3 in areas and times when the total spectrum passing through the upper atmosphere is higher, and it then later degrades naturally when the energy flux is low, Cl and other radicals assist in the normalization process.

    The reason for the increase in O3 around the edge of the “Hole” is due to “that is the area” where the electromagnetic total flux is the highest in combined UV and incoming solar wind ion magnetic flux, and is devoid in the shaded middle, where O2 is capable of handling the lower magnetic flux totals. So as the sunlight returns to the poles during their spring season, the O2 > O3 wave progresses back to “normal levels”.

  67. Keith says:

    jimmi_the_dalek says:
    October 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    The killer graph for this meme has already been shown in this thread by J @ 9.14.

    http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/facts/history.html

    Go and look at it carefully.

    Done.

    I see relative stability in the early period, then a sudden drop at about the same time as the great Pacific climate shift of 1978. Looks like it’s stabilised in the last 10 years or so, much like the climate.

    What I don’t see is confirmation of the efficacy of the Montreal Protocol. Will we be having the same discussion in 30 years about the efficacy of the global CO2 restriction protocols? At least Montreal has only cost billions.

  68. So we have always had kids trying to survive asthma?

  69. Retired Engineer says:

    re: sun water?

    Yep. Short wave UV will create Ozone in water. Lots of hot tubs and swimming pools use it to clean the water, killing bacteria and so forth. A complex system, as O3 breaks down under UV. Not just at the poles, but over the entire planet. One of the CFC scares was the dire prediction (where have we heard that before?) of a vast increase in skin cancer if we didn’t ban Freon. Why no ‘hole’ above the NP? There are some convenient explanations about temperature differences and land mass, but there should be far more CFC’s up north as that is where 95% were produced. Not much came out of Africa or Australia. Still, had to do them in, like DDT a few decades earlier, more rhetoric than science, and CO2 today. Always with large government grants to sudy the problem.

    Was not aware airlines could still get Halon. Best fire extinguisher ever made.

  70. pochas says:

    Ged says:
    October 20, 2011 at 11:06 am
    “Still no one commenting on the giant amount of ozone rimming the hole? What happens if you average the ozone concentration for the hole and the entire surrounding, elevated “ridge”?”

    Ged says:
    October 20, 2011 at 11:09 am
    “For that matter, how does the highly elevated periphery of ozone sit with the CFC theory of depletion?”

    The giant amount of ozone is simply because the satellites are looking downward through a column of descending atmosphere that contains ozone. It is the view angle that creates the illusion of very high concentrations. CFCs are not needed for ozone depletion (a fact that is not readily evident in ozone-centric science). If you compress the gas from stratospheric pressures to surface pressures, the increased ozone concentration shortens the half-life to a matter of days. No CFC’s needed. The ozone hole is a result of the circulation pattern in the stratosphere. It is generated above the equator, moves with the stratospheric circulation toward the poles, then descends to the troposphere in a well-defined ring around the pole, like a reverse hurricane, with winds rotating counter-clockwise as the air descends (at the north pole), just like in a hurricane except that in a hurricane the air is rising around the eye. Inside the eye there is little ozone because that air is trapped there. When the descending air is compressed to atmospheric pressure the ozone disappears naturally at its higher concentration.

  71. jono says:

    I remember reading the original article in Scientific American all that time ago,
    what struck me then as odd was the comment towards the end in the article that the rate of change over a very large area as measured by `in flight` analysis could not, they said, be understood as the rate of reaction required would be impossibly high. It was a welcome note of caution NOT to jump to conclusions,
    bet they wouldnt print something like that now.

  72. George E. Smith; says:

    Well I have seen a PBS program about the actual research station that the British Antarctic Expedition set up in the mid 1950s, and where one of the earliest reports of Ozone holes was discovered. That station has now been turned over to other folks, as I recall, and the original equipment used is still there as part of the folk lore.
    1956, you will recall, was immediately preceding the 1957/58 International Geophysical Year, which was predicated on the predicted sunspot maximum at that time, and an inriguing previous set of at least three sunspot peaks, that were continually increasing, from a 19th century lull. Nobody of course could have guessed that the 1957/8 sunspot peak, would be the highest in all recorded history (of sunspots) and the beginning of a sequence of unusually high sunspot peaks, that persisted up until maybe cycle 23.
    1956 was also just 3 years after the successful climb of Mt Everest, and Sir Edmund Hillary was getting itch feet to go charging off across Antarctica.

    So I believe Phil is spot on, that 1956 is at least one of the first discoveries.

    But one can also find in the annals of the US air force, and SAC, reports of both seasonal and random variations in the apparent color Temperature of the sun, attributed at the time (late 40s and 50s) to variations in the UV and short wave end of the solar spectrum.
    I believe those then unexplained color temp variations were likely a hint that there were on and off holes in the ozone layer.
    I was even there at the time (NZ gummint lab); but not working on the ozone hole project; which of course hadn’t been named as such yet, and was focussed on something else. (audio atmospherics due to lightning strikes, and the earth magnetic field.
    So why isn’t the gap between the North pole and the southern ocean considered the Ozone hole, rather than the puny one at the southern end.

  73. George E. Smith; says:

    Given such a short history since the earlies credible discoveries, who is to say, that the variability of the ozone holes is in any way unusual. Who the blazes knows what is usual for something, we only have a half century of observation for.

  74. George E. Smith; says:

    “””””” jimmi_the_dalek says:
    October 20, 2011 at 12:36 pm

    The killer graph for this meme “””””

    “killer graph”, I have down pat; even nene I have down pat; also dodo.

    So what does meme meanmean ??

  75. George E. Smith; says:

    “”””” higley7 says:

    October 20, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    Dupont’s patent on its most popular CFC had expired. They managed to pump up and fund the ozone hole scare, knowing all along that they had a more expensive alternative ready and waiting. The CFC-based ‘science” fostered by Dupont, has been shown to have been junk science, but it served the purpose at the time. “””””

    And your post is based on junk research. .

    FREON (CFCs) are patented products of Dow Chemical Corp. Dupont had the original patents for NYLON; not FREON. If I’m not mistaken, Monsanto Chemical makes better NYLON that Dupont by a method not infringing on Dupont patents.

  76. jimmi_the_dalek says:

    George E Smith “What does meme mean”

    meme/mēm/
    Noun:
    An element of a culture or behavior that may be passed from one individual to another by nongenetic means, esp. imitation.
    An image, video, etc. that is passed electronically from one Internet user to another.

    Widely used to indicate an internet idea which spreads without being checked.

  77. Mooloo says:

    higley7 says:

    Dupont’s patent on its most popular CFC had expired.

    Not true. Freon was patented in 1931. #1833847 if you want to look it up. Its patent ran out long before the scare.

    You can always prove me wrong by actually finding the so-called DuPont patent that ran out.

  78. George E. Smith; says:

    And also I am an idiot. It would appear that Dupont is indeed the owner of the FREON trade name.

    I might have got confused between Freons, and some electrically insulating inert liquids used as coolants for electronic devices, which Dow does make. They might be silicones; but don’t quote me, I could be on thin (or rotten) ice again.

    sorry higley7

  79. Graeme says:

    Phil. says:
    October 20, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Get your facts straight D’Aleo, the ozone hole was discovered by the scientists of the British Antarctic Survey based on results dating back to 1956. The rest of the piece is of comparable accuracy.

    Phil – did anyone observe the absence of an ozone hole. – The idea of a human caused Ozone hole has the implication that the hole should not exist – which has never been observed.

    As a consequence – how can you tell that it is indeed caused by human actions – it may have been there for millions of years.

  80. Graeme says:

    Phil. says:
    October 20, 2011 at 8:06 am

    Get your facts straight D’Aleo, the ozone hole was discovered by the scientists of the British Antarctic Survey based on results dating back to 1956. The rest of the piece is of comparable accuracy.

    The concept of a meme was first put forward by Richard Dawkins (Selfish Gene), as any replicating idea. I.e. Ideas evolve and capture space in minds iaw their capacity to do so.

  81. Ged says: October 20, 2011 at 11:06 am

    Still no one commenting on the giant amount of ozone rimming the hole?

    Firstly, it’s not a “hole”, “The word hole isn’t literal; no place is empty of ozone. Scientists use the word hole as a metaphor for the area in which ozone concentrations drop below the historical threshold of 220 Dobson Units.”

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WorldOfChange/ozone.php

    Secondly the ozone surplus that exists outside of the “ozone hole”;

    is likely a dynamical effect of the stratospheric polar vortex, i.e. “The walls of the polar vortex act as the boundaries for the extraordinary changes in chemical concentrations. Now the polar vortex can be considered a sealed chemical reactor bowl, containing a water vapor hole, a nitrogen oxide hole and an ozone hole, all occurring simultaneously (Labitzke and Kunze 2005)”

    http://books.google.com/books?id=B93SSQrcAh4C&lpg=PA283&ots=d0-uBRjmyI&dq=%22water%20vapor%20hole%22%20polar%20vortex&pg=PA283#v=onepage&q=%22water%20vapor%20hole%22%20polar%20vortex&f=false

    Polar Vortices “are caused when an area of low pressure sits at the rotation pole of a planet. This causes air to spiral down from higher in the atmosphere, like water going down a drain.”

    http://www.universetoday.com/973/what-venus-and-saturn-have-in-common/.

    “A polar vortex is a persistent, large-scale cyclone located near one or both of a planet’s geographical poles.” “The vortex is most powerful in the hemisphere’s winter, when the temperature gradient is steepest, and diminishes or can disappear in the summer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polar_vortex

    “The ozone hole is in the center of a spiraling mass of air over the Antarctic that is called the polar vortex. The vortex is not stationary and sometimes moves as far north as the southern half of South America, taking the ozone hole with it.”

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/factsheets/HALOE-Ozone.html

    This article and associated graphics help to demonstrate the dynamical effect of the polar vortex on Venus’s south pole:

    http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2010/09/venus-polar-vortex/

  82. Ken says:

    Retired Refrigeration Tech.
    I was caught up in the change of cfc’s and banning of them so listened to all information available, In the early 1990’s here is Australia we were all required to attend a required course and exam to obtain a licence to use, handle cfc’s etc, I later obtained information that these courses were only a requirement and as long as it was attended you obtained a pass and received whatever grade of licence that was paid for (The higher the grade, the more cost, prob another gov. grab for cash). Freon 11 and 12 were made illegal to import and manufacture approx 1993 and existing stocks were still able to be used, R22 suffered the same fate at approx 1998. The information was that it was 2 years for Freon 12 to reach the ozone layer and Freon 22 took 10 years, as it was still being used etc and still much being released due to leaks in system failures I was told that on the NASA website it had recorded the hole closed in 1995 (The gas was still in the major transition stage at that time) as in the above links it was noted that no NASA information was recorded for that year (Conveniently lost?)
    Also interesting as stated above and is also what I was told is that Dupont (A major world chemical manufacturer) had the patent for Freon expiring and a new gas was found and another patent introduced, The cost of all these refrigerants rose sharply and almost made them all prohibitive to use as well as the cost of a licence (Where is all this money now going)
    Also noticed that in 1995 there was very little talk about the hole in the ozone layer and has reduced more by all the “Experts” and then became known as “The Greenhouse Effect” and then to “Global Warming” well since the earth hasn’t changed considerably it has now been changed to “Climate Change” who can deny anything about the climate changing, a very good choice of words by “Experts” or is it all about making more profits for select few?

  83. Havasu says:

    A number of commentators here have claimed the article is inaccurate because the ozone hole was discovered in the 1950s, not the 1980s.

    Whilst it is strictly speaking true that Dobson and others, as well as a Japanese expedition, did note some of the characteristics of the ozone hole in the 1950s, the “discovery” of it in scientific terms is usually dated to the 1980s when accurate measurements were first available. No cock-up or mystery here, just a question of definition.

  84. Ged says: October 20, 2011 at 11:06 am
    What happens if you average the ozone concentration for the hole and the entire surrounding, elevated “ridge”?

    Ged says: October 20, 2011 at 11:09 am
    For that matter, how does the highly elevated periphery of ozone sit with the CFC theory of depletion?

    The dynamical effect of the Stratospheric Polar Vortex that results in the surplus of ozone around the “Ozone Hole” is likely also a significant contributor to the decrease in ozone that is referred to as the “Ozone Hole”, however it is likely only one factor.

    Another factor is likely that, “HALOE data show, however, a surprising phenomenon occurring in the center of the Antarctic vortex. Air from very high altitudes descends vertically through the center of the vortex, moving air to lower altitudes over several months.”

    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/langley/news/factsheets/HALOE-Ozone.html

    Since air towards the top of the stratosphere and mesosphere have lower concentrations of ozone;

    when this air sinks within the funnel of the polar vortex it displaces the air below it, decreasing the concentration of ozone and contributing the “Ozone Hole”.

    Furthermore, there appears to be support for a contribution to the “Ozone Hole” by nitrogen oxides from the thermosphere and mesosphere, i.e.;

    “Large amounts of nitrogen oxide are produced in the lower thermosphere through the influence of energetic precipitating particles and solar radiation. During polar night this NO is occasionally transported downward to the stratosphere where it destroys ozone and subsequently may have an influence on stratospheric and potentially tropospheric circulation.”

    http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/en/science/the-atmosphere-in-the-earth-system/topis-for-master-theses-at-the-meteorological-institute-of-the-university-of-hamburg/downward-transport-of-nitrogen-oxide-in-the-middle-atmosphere-during-polar-night-diffusion-or-advection.html

    “Nitric oxide is an important minor constituent of the upper atmosphere that exhibits strong solar-terrestrial coupling. Nitric oxide directly affects the composition of the ionosphere, the thermal structure of the thermosphere, and may be transported downward into the mesosphere and stratosphere where it can react with ozone.”

    http://lasp.colorado.edu/snoe/mission/mission_overview/science_objectives.html

    Lastly, there may be a contribution to the Ozone Hole from CFCs;
    “To recap then, the requirements for ozone loss are:

    The polar winter leads to the formation of the polar vortex which isolates the air within it.

    Cold temperatures form inside the vortex; cold enough for the formation of Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSCs). As the vortex air is isolated, the cold temperatures and the PSCs persist.

    Once the PSCs form, heterogeneous reactions take place and convert the inactive chlorine and bromine reservoirs to more active forms of chlorine and bromine.

    No ozone loss occurs until sunlight returns to the air inside the polar vortex and allows the production of active chlorine and initiates the catalytic ozone destruction cycles. Ozone loss is rapid. The ozone hole currently covers a geographic region a little bigger than Antarctica and extends nearly 10km in altitude in the lower stratosphere.”:

    http://www.atm.ch.cam.ac.uk/tour/part3.html

    however, the attribution of the entire “Ozone Hole” to CFCs certainly appears erroneous.

  85. Caleb says:

    At some point I read an interesting essay suggesting that the bio-chemistry of the ocean effected the photo-chemistry of the upper atmosphere.

    It stated:

    1.) Any element ending in “Ine” (Chlorine, Bromine, Fluorine, Iodine,) could be used to break down Ozone.

    2.) Plankton and other critters create a brew of complex molecules containing such elements in the ocean.

    3.) Hurricanes and major Gale centers turn the surface of the sea to sheets of wind-blown spray, and large amounts of this spray is swept upwards by updrafts right up to the tropopause.

    4.) This brings non-manmade molecules up where they play a part in the destruction of ozone.

    Apparently this component to the upper atmosphere wasn’t considered, in some models.

    I am curious about the measurement of CFCs up at the pole. What exactly was measured? Is there any chance they may have been measuring a non-manmade trace gas, by mistake?

    .

  86. Myrrh says:

    “On the Earth’s surface, ozone is a pollutant,”

    Retired Engineer says:
    October 20, 2011 at 2:09 pm
    re: sun water?

    Yep. Short wave UV will create Ozone in water. Lots of hot tubs and swimming pools use it to clean the water, killing bacteria and so forth.

    I can understand why they want to demonise carbon dioxide, it’s simpler to do so in order to promote the scare, but who is benefitting from getting us to think of ozone as a pollutant? All the chemical industries’ disinfectant divisions perhaps? There are ozone machines which can be used in homes and factories, iirc, to disinfect and get rid of mould (mold) and such, just run for a couple of hours and the room is done.

  87. JimInIndy says:

    As Graeme noted above, nobody has ever seen the South Polar sky w/o the “hole.” Therefore, cause and effect is pure supposition, assumption, and assertion — really solid science!

    Don Keiller @ October 20, 2011 at 11:24 asked about a refutation of the base hypothesis. I saw, at the time, Markus Rex’s 2007 report of the errors in the chemical reactions that formed the scientific justification of the Montreal Protocol. It did conclude there was at least an order of magnitude error in the original justifying calculations — and it was a pure gold, peer-reviewed report.

    See: http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070924/full/449382a.html.

    I followed the discussions and commentary for a few months and assumed, since no serious dispute emerged, that the “CFCs = Ozone-destruction” hypothesis had been disproved.

    Since the CFCs are responsible again, I guess I just don’t understand all this science stuff.

  88. ferd berple says:

    For centuries humans have looked at the natural world and sought to explain it in terms of human activity. If we pray to the Gods we will get rain. If we offer human sacrifice we will increase the crops. If we kill the witches the cold weather will end.

    We look back on the past and laugh at these people. How could they have been so foolish.
    Yet, at the time each group was a convinced they were right as anyone is today. We are those people. When the natural world changes at the same time we take some action, we believe our actions to be the cause.

    for example: Every time I turn on the TV and tune in the Canucks they lose. When I turn off the TV in disgust, they score and go on to win. Therefore it is me causing them to win and lose.

    How many out there have observed the very same effect with their own local sports teams? That when you watch them they lose, but when you stop watching they win? Thus, you too are causing your local team to win and lose.

  89. Stephen Wilde says:

    “Large amounts of nitrogen oxide are produced in the lower thermosphere through the influence of energetic precipitating particles and solar radiation. During polar night this NO is occasionally transported downward to the stratosphere where it destroys ozone and subsequently may have an influence on stratospheric and potentially tropospheric circulation.”
    http://www.mpimet.mpg.de/en/science/the-atmosphere-in-the-earth-system/topis-for-master-theses-at-the-meteorological-institute-of-the-university-of-hamburg/downward-transport-of-nitrogen-oxide-in-the-middle-atmosphere-during-polar-night-diffusion-or-advection.html

    Quite so, and the quantities vary with the level of solar activity due to wavelength changes.

    I have proposed elsewhere that a more active sun produces more ozone destroying chemical reactions above 45km ro reduce ozone there and thereby cool that part of the atmospheric column and that furthermore that process dominates over the better known ozone creation processes below 45km when the sun is more active so as to overall produce a reverse sign temperature response in the mesosphere and stratosphere i.e. cooling and NOT warming when the sun is more active. Exactly as was observed during the late 20th century without the need to invoke human enhancement of the natural greenhouse effect.

    Hence also the observations noted by Joanna Haigh between 2004 and 2007 when unexpectedly at a time of quiet sun ozone amounts above 45km INCREASED whereas ozone amounts below 45km DECREASED.

  90. radio says:

    I believe an Australian radio operator first noticed the depletion of the ozone layer over Antarctica. It was in 1957 during the International Geophysical Year. Radio operators used the ozone layer to reflect or bounce signals. He found that in winter the ozone layer seemed to ‘disappear’ and appear again in summer. The same thing was repeated the next year. So the idea that an ozone hole over the poles is winter could be a permanent feature over thousands or more years might be very well right.

  91. jimmi_the_dalek says:

    JimInIndy,

    “It did conclude there was at least an order of magnitude error in the original justifying calculations — and it was a pure gold, peer-reviewed report.
    See: http://www.nature.com/news/2007/070924/full/449382a.html.
    I followed the discussions and commentary for a few months and assumed, since no serious dispute emerged, that the “CFCs = Ozone-destruction” hypothesis had been disproved.”

    This indicates two things :
    1) “peer review” does not stop with publication
    2) you did not follow for long enough

    In fact several papers have turned up which overturn the surprise commented on in nature, and revert to the previous status quo.

    In particular,
    Wilmouth et al Journal of Physical Chemistry A, vol 113, page 14099 (2009)
    and
    Papanastasiou et al Journal of Physical Chemistry A, vol 113, page 13711 (2009)

    Here is (part of) the abstract of the latter paper (the other reaches much the same conclusion)
    ——————–
    The Cl(2)O(2) absorption cross sections obtained for wavelengths in the range 300-420 nm are in good agreement with the Cl(2)O(2) spectrum reported previously by Burkholder et al. (J. Phys. Chem. A 1990, 94, 687) and significantly higher than the values reported by Pope et al. (J. Phys. Chem. A 2007, 111, 4322). A possible explanation for the discrepancy in the Cl(2)O(2) cross section values with the Pope et al. study is discussed. Representative, atmospheric photolysis rate coefficients are calculated and a range of uncertainty estimated based on the determination of sigma(Cl2O2)(lambda) in this work. Although improvements in Our fundamental understanding of the photochemistry Of Cl(2)O(2) are still desired, this work indicates that major revisions in current atmospheric chemical mechanisms are not required to simulate observed polar ozone depletion.
    ———————
    Basically what that means is : Pope et al were wrong, we have confirmed the earlier results are correct.

  92. Jim Masterson says:

    >>
    Laurie Bowen says:
    October 20, 2011 at 10:37 am

    SidViscous says:
    October 20, 2011 at 9:51 am
    UV+O2 = O3

    Is this an additional way to make Ozone?? It was my understanding that it takes O2 plus lightning (natural electricity) to make O3 ???
    <<

    The correct chemical equation for creating ozone is (all properly balanced):

    3O₂ + energy <-> 2O₃

    This is a reversible reaction.

    The energy can be from lightning, ultraviolet light, or electrical discharges (for example). You can smell ozone around model railroad trains (especially when they derail), Jacob’s ladders (popular in SciFi shows), and Van de Graaff generators (just to name a few sources).

    You need enough energy to rip one of the oxygen molecules apart. The single oxygen atoms may join with two other oxygen molecules to form ozone. Somewhere I read that a single oxygen atom has the oxidizing power of fluorine. It’s primarily the single atoms of oxygen that are responsible for the bleaching action of chlorine bleach (sodium hypochlorite).

    Jim

  93. J.H. says:

    CKB….. But CFCs are produced naturally by chemical processes in the upper atmophere under certain conditions, according to the the above article….. So, could it have been that Lovelock was actually measuring naturally produced CFCs and not anthropogenic CFCs?

  94. achuara says:

    According to Hugh Ellsaesser, “read George Dobson´s work on his observation of this phenomenon back in 1957.) Because of the extreme difficulties and marginal conditions for making observations of total ozone over Antarctica in the austral spring, unprecedentedly low values such as are found in “The Hole” would, in all probability, have been rejected as erroneous and not recorded prior to the availability of confirmatory observations from balloon soundings and satellites.

    In George Dobson’s: “Exploring the Atmosphere,” Chapter 6, (Oxford Press, 1968) it is quite clear that he noticed a deep decrease in ozone values during the International geophysical Year in 1957. The same low levels were recorded by French scientists Leroy and Rigaud at Dumont D’Urville base in Antarctica at the same date as Dobson’s aides in Halley Bay base.

    In any case, the observational data available to date suggest that the Antarctic “Ozone Hole” is an ephemeral phenomenon, appearing and disappearing periodically or aperiodically, rather than something that has just been identified and is steadily getting stronger or bigger (Singer 1988).

    http://www.mitosyfraudes.org/Ingles/OzoneHole.html

  95. jimmi_the_dalek says:

    J.H.

    I cannot see anywhere in D’Aleo’s article which says that CFCs are produced naturally in the upper atmosphere, but if he does, he’s wrong. Only one CFC is naturally occurring in significant quantities, and that is methyl chloride (CH3Cl)

  96. Spector says:

    I have read a statement by one person who said he first became aware of the danger Global Warming from all the extra carbon dioxide we were putting into the atmosphere when he read that the minimal human use of CFCs in spray cans had caused a huge hole to open up in the ozone layer over the South Pole and that it was projected that continued use of these chemicals would soon eliminate this layer over the whole Earth. As I recall, the person stated this as the revelation of an established scientific fact.

  97. EO Peter says:

    US 3,258,500 “Process for Fluorinating Halohydrocarbons” owned by E. I. du Pont seem to be a “submarine patent” due to pre-1995 filing & the 7 years difference between filing in 1959 & the year it was granted 1966. A that time patent terms were 17 years from the date it was granted. That make expiration in 1983, Wikipedia seem wrong w/t the date 1979.
    DuPont made the U-turn & publicly condemned CFCs in 1986… Maybe it took a little while for the captain of the “submarine” to come up w/t a new plan!
    HCFCs also seem to have received a specific “life cycle” time.

    The show must go on!!!

  98. LazyTeenager says:

    It is very likely to have been there forever, varying year to year and decade to decade as solar cycles and volcanic events affected high latitude winter vortex strength
    ——–
    Joe can’t even get the history of the discovery of the ozone hole correct.

    And yet he somehow concludes that he knows for sure that the scientists are wrong and that he is right based on no evidence whatsoever.

    The chemistry of the breakdown of ozone needs halogen atoms and the only way to get that is from CFCs. The scientist didn’t just pull this out of there a…es. A whole lot of research went into what was causing it and why.

  99. jimmi_the_dalek says:
    October 20, 2011 at 10:46 pm
    J.H.

    I cannot see anywhere in D’Aleo’s article which says that CFCs are produced naturally in the upper atmosphere, but if he does, he’s wrong. Only one CFC is naturally occurring in significant quantities, and that is methyl chloride (CH3Cl)

    Jimmi,

    A) What difference does it make which CFCs appear naturally in the stratosphere?

    According to the World Meteorological Organization’s 2006 Ozone Depletion Assessment:
    ftp://ftp.nilu.no/pub/NILU/geir/assessment-2006/10%20Q&AsChapter.pdf \
    (see chart comments for Q28):

    “On average, global ozone decreased each year between 1980 and the early 1990s. The decrease worsened during the few years when volcanic aerosol from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991 remained in the stratosphere.”

    The CFC banners therefore admit at least some of the ‘damage’ is natural.

    B) From the same assessment (see 7.5.1):
    ftp://ftp.nilu.no/pub/NILU/geir/assessment-2006/08%20Chapter%207.pdf

    “All other UV modulating geophysical variables being stable, it is expected (Ed. BUT NEVER OBSERVED!) that decreases in stratospheric ozone will lead to increases in UV radiation at the surface.”

    C) At their peak use in 1996, CFC medical inhalers globally accounted for less than 1% of total CFC global emissions (inhalers used about 9,600 tons of CFC globally that year).

    D) The banning of CFC inhalers (to ‘save’ the ozone layer) has resulted in increased morbidity/mortality among respiratory patients due to the less safe, less effective HFA-propelled, “ozone friendly” inhaler replacements (we have data from the FDA’s MedWatch complaints and numerous clinical trials to support our position, as well as thousands of patient complaints and hundreds of physician complaints).

    THREE QUESTIONS FOR THIS GROUP

    1) How do those who support the CFC ban justify their alarm over theoretical increased seasonal UV at the poles when there is so much more UV around the equator all year long?

    2) How do those who support the ban of CFC medical inhalers in particular remain silent on the commercialization/recreational use of space (Branson, for example), when it’s been shown that just “a handful” of space shuttle flights do more harm to the ozone layer than 50 million US patients using CFC inhalers for a year (U of Colorado)? (I do not necessarily oppose the commercialization of space, but I’d assign a slightly higher priority to keeping kids from choking to death from crappy ‘ozone-friendly’ inhalers, if I had to choose.).

    3) We are getting POLITICAL SUPPORT from key US Senators in our effort to create a medical exemption in the US Clean Air Act for lifesaving CFC inhalers and we need a few BRAVE, HONEST SCIENTISTS to support us in this effort. If you are willing to publicly support our position, PLEASE CONTACT ME in San Francisco at 415-295-4509 ext 1 or email me at sponsor@SaveCFCinhalers.org

    Thanks to Anthony, and to all you, for contributing to this outstanding thread.

    Arthur Abramson
    The National Campaign to Save CFC Asthma Inhalers

  100. Laurie Bowen the Troll says:

    It also may be of value to look at the history of the Dupont family, fortune & phylosophy.

  101. Is the Ozone Trend Panel still in existence? This was the team led by Susan Solomon that trumped-up this nonsense about declining ozone levels of 4% between 1962 and 1979. The not-so-publicized trend, however was a 4% INCREASE between 1970 and 1986.

    The fact is there is 22,779 times more chlorine produced by seawater and soils than that produced from man-made CFCs. The ozone hole gets big every fall and small every spring. It’s a predictable cycle.

  102. Further to my comments above:

    “Rapid descent of mesospheric air into the stratospheric polar vortex”
    “Wind fields from a numerical simulation are used to give a detailed Lagrangian picture of air flow in the middle atmosphere of the southern hemisphere in winter and early spring 1991. Trajectories for many thousands of air particles exhibit rapid descent of mesospheric air into the stratospheric polar vortex, revealing its organizing and structure‐preserving properties. Results are used to account for measurements of low methane concentrations in the vortex made by the HALOE instrument on board the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite. ”

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/1993/93GL01104.shtml

    “As mesospheric air has a different chemical composition in comparison to stratospheric air, it is important to know how much air is descending from the mesosphere into the stratospheric polar vortex for a quantitative understanding of stratospheric chemistry. Due to reactions taking place in the thermosphere and upper mesosphere, mesospheric air is enhanced in reactive nitrogen compounds (e.g. Solomon et al., 1985), which can effect ozone (e.g. Konopka et al., 2006).”

    “Any descent of mesospheric air into the stratosphere will consequently lead to a change in the correlation between ozone and long lived tracers. The effect of dynamical processes on the correlation between trace gases has been considered in some studies of ozone depletion (e.g. Muller et al., 2001). Changes in correlations have also been used to study denitrification inside the polar vortices (e.g. Fahey et al., 1990). Kondo et al. (1999) andWetzel et al. (2002) were able to show that their observed anomalous correlation between N2O and NOy inside the polar vortex in February and March 1997 was indeed mainly caused by dynamical effects.”

    “Downward transport of mesospheric air is, therefore, an important phenomenon which has a significant impact on the chemical composition of the polar stratosphere and is important in studies of ozone depletion as well (e.g. Konopka et al., 2006).”

    http://www.atmos-chem-phys.org/6/267/2006/acp-6-267-2006.pdf

  103. jimmi_the_dalek

    What percentage of the “Ozone Hole” do you think is caused by anthropogenic CFC emissions versus natural variables?

  104. sean2829 says:

    To LazyTeenager,
    This statemen is incorrect “The chemistry of the breakdown of ozone needs halogen atoms and the only way to get that is from CFCs. The scientist didn’t just pull this out of there a…es. A whole lot of research went into what was causing it and why.”
    Ozone will break down on its own without the help of halogens just as it always has. If you leave pure ozone in a bottle for a period of time, it will break down to O2 over time. Cl is a catalyst for it’s breakdown but there are others such as NOx, SOx, and oxygen compounds that affect the breakdown as well. (I know this from discussion with a very a reliable source.)

  105. Gail Combs says:

    kramer says:
    October 20, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Stephen Wilde says:

    Probably never any need to have invoked CFCs as a causative agent in the first place.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some globalist, ‘interdependence’ and equity reasoning for banning CFCs…
    ______________________________________________________
    Dow Chemicals patent on CFCs ran out and the replacement was oh so much more expensive… ERRrr profitable.

    Never mind my co-workers who were burned due to the shift from CFCs to the flammable aerosol propellant propane. It caused one of the filling lines to blow up. No one ever bothers to keep track of the human casualties in these types of political moves.

  106. MFKBoulder says:

    Waht a lousy papaer ist contradicting itself:
    “The Antarctic ozone hole was first discovered in the late 1970s by the first satellite mission that could measure ozone, ”


    “Remember we first found the ozone hole when satellites that measure ozone were first available and processed (1985). ”

    And both is not correct: the ozone hole was detectd 1985 by terrestial observation (like in 1957 where Dobson found a sprin minimum which was approx twice as high as the ozone hole of the 8os).
    Your “paper” would have been rejected at my university as a thrid year paper due to lack of quality.

  107. In 1953, my former Professor Dr. Hans-Karl Paetzold observed a so-called ozone hole over the European Alps. He published his results in the Zeitschrift fuer Meteorologie in 1955 (or 56). Some of his results are also used in a book chapter by Paetzold and Regener published in the Handbuch der Physik (edited by Fluegge) in 1957. Paetzold related this ozone hole to dynamic reasons. His explanation was ignored during several decades.

    In a contribution, Ozone Depletion and the Climate System, by Pyle and Solomon (2005), however, it is stated that “dynamics is important, along with chemistry”.

    Honni soit qui mal y pense.

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