Good news: 2012 Antarctic Ozone Hole is the second smallest in 20 years

Daily ozone hole images from Jul 1, 2012 to Oct. 19, 2012. The ozone hole max is on Sept. 22, 2012. Credit: NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center – click image for movie

WASHINGTON — The average area covered by the Antarctic ozone hole this year was the second smallest in the last 20 years, according to data from NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellites. Scientists attribute the change to warmer temperatures in the Antarctic lower stratosphere.

The ozone hole reached its maximum size Sept. 22, covering 8.2 million square miles (21.2 million square kilometers), or the area of the United States, Canada and Mexico combined. The average size of the 2012 ozone hole was 6.9 million square miles (17.9 million square kilometers). The Sept. 6, 2000 ozone hole was the largest on record at 11.5 million square miles (29.9 million square kilometers).

“The ozone hole mainly is caused by chlorine from human-produced chemicals, and these chlorine levels are still sizable in the Antarctic stratosphere,” said NASA atmospheric scientist Paul Newman of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “Natural fluctuations in weather patterns resulted in warmer stratospheric temperatures this year. These temperatures led to a smaller ozone hole.”

Observing Earth’s Ozone Layer
Atmospheric ozone is no longer declining because concentrations of ozone-depleting chemicals stopped increasing and are now declining.

Ozone projection for the year 2042, with (left) and without (right) the Montreal Protocol.

This image shows projected ozone concentrations for the year 2042, with (left) and without (right) the Montreal Protocol to reduce CFCs begun in the 1980s.
› Read more

The ozone layer acts as Earth’s natural shield against ultraviolet radiation, which can cause skin cancer. The ozone hole phenomenon began making a yearly appearance in the early 1980s. The Antarctic ozone layer likely will not return to its early 1980s state until about 2065, Newman said. The lengthy recovery is because of the long lifetimes of ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere. Overall atmospheric ozone no longer is declining as concentrations of ozone-depleting substances decrease. The decrease is the result of an international agreement regulating the production of certain chemicals.

This year also marked a change in the concentration of ozone over the Antarctic. The minimum value of total ozone in the ozone hole was the second highest level in two decades. Total ozone, measured in Dobson units (DU) reached 124 DU on Oct. 1. NOAA ground-based measurements at the South Pole recorded 136 DU on Oct. 5. When the ozone hole is not present, total ozone typically ranges from 240-500 DU.

This is the first year growth of the ozone hole has been observed by an ozone-monitoring instrument on the Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership (NPP) satellite. The instrument, called the Ozone Mapping Profiler Suite (OMPS), is based on previous instruments, such as the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) and the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet instrument (SBUV/2). OMPS continues a satellite record dating back to the early 1970s.

In addition to observing the annual formation and extent of the ozone hole, scientists hope OMPS will help them better understand ozone destruction in the middle and upper stratosphere with its Nadir Profiler. Ozone variations in the lower stratosphere will be measured with its Limb Profiler.

“OMPS Limb looks sideways, and it can measure ozone as a function of height,” said Pawan K. Bhartia, a NASA atmospheric physicist and OMPS Limb instrument lead. “This OMPS instrument allows us to more closely see the vertical development of Antarctic ozone depletion in the lower stratosphere where the ozone hole occurs.”

NASA and NOAA have been monitoring the ozone layer on the ground and with a variety of instruments on satellites and balloons since the 1970s. Long-term ozone monitoring instruments have included TOMS, SBUV/2, Stratospheric Aerosol and Gas Experiment series of instruments, the Microwave Limb Sounder, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument, and the OMPS instrument on Suomi NPP. Suomi NPP is a bridging mission leading to the next-generation polar-orbiting environmental satellites called the Joint Polar Satellite System, will extend ozone monitoring into the 2030s.

NASA and NOAA have a mandate under the Clean Air Act to monitor ozone-depleting gases and stratospheric depletion of ozone. NOAA complies with this mandate by monitoring ozone via ground and satellite measurements. The NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo., performs the ground-based monitoring. The Climate Prediction Center performs the satellite monitoring.

To monitor the state of the ozone layer above Antarctica, visit:

http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov

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70 thoughts on “Good news: 2012 Antarctic Ozone Hole is the second smallest in 20 years

  1. Quoted from the above article, “The ozone hole mainly is caused by chlorine from human-produced chemicals, and these chlorine levels are still sizable in the Antarctic stratosphere,”

    If this was strictly true then shouldn’t ozone depletion be dependent on the chlorine levels and not on other things?

  2. “The ozone hole mainly is caused by chlorine from human-produced chemicals, and these chlorine levels are still sizable in the Antarctic stratosphere,” said NASA atmospheric scientist Paul Newman”

    This statement is far too strong for me. “The ozone hole mainly is caused…”? Everything I have read recently points in a different direction. How about “The ozone hole is affected by…”.

  3. Surely this huge fluctuation over a short period can’t be due to CFCs. Maybe this is part of a 60 year cycle, too. What if it grows bigger 10 years from now? As per other causes of the hole, magnetic susceptibility of O2 and O3 is a factor of at least some part of it – I had an argument with the self-described ozone specialist Eric Grimsrud a week or so ago and, although he pooh-poohed it, his answer suggested he hadn’t considered it: O2 is paramagnetic and is attracted to a mag field, O3 is diamagnetic and is pushed away. It is likely that the hole never really disappears and maybe at its smallest you have essentially only the magnetic cause. Incidentally, this would suggest that the Ozone is made somewhat thicker over equatorial areas – maybe we could do with weaker sun block on our sun destination holidays. The Arctic shows lesser effects because of greater air circulation.

  4. That movie is awesome! I love looking at real data. However data is minced and diced, it’s superior to computer model results like the results shown in the second graphic.

    w.

  5. I find it fascinating that the Ozone Hole was always over the Antarctic when most of the Chloroflorocarbons were produced north of the equator. Isn’t if amazing how the CFCs cleverly traversed the various Hadley cells and other currents to collect at the bottom of the world. (I suppose for the less astute, flowing “down hill” seems natural.) Why isn’t there a stupendously larger ozone hole over the arctic affecting the much more populated north?

    The simple fact is that CFCs are heavier than air, do not collect in the upper atmosphere at all, and cannot overcome all of the atmospheric interference. The Antarctic Ozone Hole must be produced by some other effect — likely natural.

  6. “Natural fluctuations in weather patterns resulted in warmer stratospheric temperatures this year. These temperatures led to a smaller ozone hole.”

    Wait up… temperature affected the ozone hole that much? Which has the bigger effect; chlorine or temperature? Seems like temperature to me. Give me back my inhaler propellant.

  7. Scientists attribute the change to warmer temperatures in the Antarctic lower stratosphere……………………………..

    So all that CO2 is good for something then……..

    sarc/

  8. So, is this an unusual change, part of a long term (100, 200, 300-year) tend? I suspect we don’t have enough data to know any affect on the ozone layer and hole.

  9. J Broadbent says:
    October 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm
    “Why is there a thickening of ozone on the perimeter of the depletion?”

    O2 is paramagnetic and is attracted to the stronger field at the poles, ozone is diamagnetic and is repelled away from the field. Thank you JB I’ve been looking for some evidence of my explanation in arguments I’ve had with ozone holists.

  10. J Broadbent says:
    October 24, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    “Why is there a thickening of ozone on the perimeter of the depletion?”

    Because the ozone never enters the ozone hole proper. It descends from the stratosphere in the eyewall around the ozone hole and undergoes autodecomposition on the way down. The ozone hole is like an upside-down hurricane with the direction of flow in the eyewall down instead of up. The autodecomposition reaction is pressure dependent. At stratospheric pressures ozone is stable, but at surface pressures it decomposes rapidly even with no catalytic substances present (like the freons). The apparent thickening you see in the eyewall is from the satellite looking downward through the descending column of ozone. Since all of the ozone disappears in the eyewall, it really doesn’t matter how much of those nasty fluorocarbons are present; the ozone will all be stable until it enters the top of the eyewall and be gone at the bottom, either way. The size of the ozone hole has nothing to do with the flourocarbons, or with the ozone itself for that matter. It has more to do with atmospheric fluid dynamics than anything else.
    This ozone hole business is an object lesson in credulousness. We credulous laymen will believe anything those god-like scientists tell us, because they are the anointed ones. I sincerely hope that between the ozone hole fiasco and the AGW mishmash we have finally learned our lesson.

  11. There’s so many half truths about the ozone hole in this article that picking them all apart would take hours, much more time than I have on my hands at the moment. I will make to quick statements though:

    1. Dobson predicted the ozone hole to exist purely from natural causes, and long before we had the instrumentation to measure it. He did so in the 1920′s or 30′s if memory serves. Today we measure ozone concentration in DU or Dobson Units, which are named after him. So to claim that the hole suddenly appeared in 80′s is purile nonsense. We only developed the instrumentation to accurately measure it in that time frame, and we found pretty much exactly what Dobson predicted.

    2. I’ll make a prediction of my own. At some point in the next 30 years, the ozone hole will start to grow again and the alarmists will have to either admit we’ve been mostly measuring natural variation all along, or they’ll have to come up with a new boogey man to blame for it. Hey, I may as well make two predictions. I’ll predict that they come up with a new boogey man.

  12. Gary Pearse says
    “Thank you JB I’ve been looking for some evidence of my explanation in arguments I’ve had with ozone holists.”

    Like to say my observation was original, however John L Daly, ” Still waiting for Greenhouse” drew my attention to this interesting artifact many years ago.

    Pochas says
    I understand this as;
    The increased measurement by satellite is of a descending column of ozone in the wall of the Antarctic vortex.
    Appears logical in that I would expect a column of air would be cooling over the poles and therefore descending. That the Antarctic ozone hole should be larger than the Arctic has some logic in that the winds around the southern ocean have less land formations to impede them.
    also;
    The instability of ozone at higher atmospheric pressures also explains why the production of the ‘evil’ ozone, a constituent of the photo-chemical smog of the cities, does not make a “silent spring” for the population of Los Angeles.

    Thanks for the thoughts.

  13. Wasn’t one of the excuses for the growth of Antarctic Sea Ice the ozone hole?

    “Both warming and ozone loss act to strengthen the circumpolar winds in the south. This is due primarily to persistently cold conditions prevailing on Antarctica year-round, and a cold stratosphere above Antarctica due to the ozone hole. Stronger winds generally act to blow the sea ice outward, slightly increasing the extent,”

    http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/2012/10/poles-apart-a-record-breaking-summer-and-winter/

    So a really small Ozone hole should have resulted in less extent.

  14. So may I presume the patent that DuPont holds on current CFC substitutes is coming to the end?
    And they have something else in the wings?

  15. Explaining the Antarctic sea ice maximum with the ozone hole appears to require some additional “explanation”.

  16. Isn’t it strange that at the ozone hole is in the same area where the magnetic fields are perpendicular to earth…..

  17. kwik says:
    October 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm
    Isn’t it strange that at the ozone hole is in the same area where the magnetic fields are perpendicular to earth…..
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Then that would be why the poles are cold as well?

    Ozone is produced by specific wavelengths of UV from the sun that ionize oxygen. Other wavelengths and processes break ozone down. In the tropics and temperate zones, the processes pretty much balance out. At the poles, sometimes production is favoured and sometimes breakdown is favoured. The elliptical orbit of the earth tends to favour a larger inbalance of one vs the other over the course of a year in the antarctic versus the arctic.

  18. It must be quite exiting to pop up a sat and low and behold there was the hole never to have been there before? And to explain the hole’s whole less of an existence with less CFCs when the concentration of CFCs are higher today than they were when they popped up the sat.

    And why is the supposed hole always off center?

  19. Someone tell Fred Singer…..he doesn’t think that CFCs had anything to do with the ozone hole, so the increase in ozone can’t have anything to do with reduction in CFCs….

    Yes, it is complicated, and yes, there are natural fluctuations for various reasons.

    My beef with the professional climate panic lobby is that they exaggerate and like and scare and try to impose draconian “solutions.” But CO2 and black carbon and methane do increase warming, the issue is how much, at what rate, and to what effect. We don’t have a good handle on that yet.

    That is similar to my attitude toward CFCs and the ozone hole as well. Reducing CFCs will help increase ozone at the south pole, but it will likely do so in a 3 steps forward, 2 steps back manner, due to natural fluctuations.

  20. Just noting that the claim that South Pole stratosphere temperatures were warmer this year is mostly bogus. It was warmer but many other Septembers were higher – particularly 2002 when there was a Sudden Stratospheric Warming event at the South Pole (common in the North but much rarer in the South – only three are known about for the south).

    Personally, I think the statosphere temps are mainly controlled by Ozone depletion/recovery from Volcanic events. Ozone intercepts UV in the stratosphere and, thus, the more Ozone there is, the more UV interceptions there are and the higher the temperatures are.

    Volcanoes lead to rising stratosphere temps initially (as the volcanic sulphates now intercept more solar radiation at this level) but then they lead to stratosphere cooling as the volcanic sulphates destroy more Ozone than usual. It can take 25 years for the Ozone levels to rebuild between volcanic events.

    The South Pole stratosphere temp trend over time does not really match the volcano timelines but the rest of the planet surely does.

    The hole more-or-less started after the March-April 1982 El Chichon volcano and then got worse after the June 1991 Pinatubo eruption. As I noted, the data doesn’t match up exactly for the South Pole stratosphere temperatures (above) but there is at least a hint of this being the cause in the Ozone and Ozone Hole data.

  21. The ozone hole mainly is caused by chlorine from human-produced chemicals,
    =============
    The biggest source of chlorine on earth is from dissolved salt in the oceans. Cl2 gasses off in response to Ca capture by Co2, to form CaCo3 – limestone.

    The ozone hole is not caused by humans. It is caused by the sun interacting with the earth’s magnetic field at the poles. Otherwise, ozone “depletion” would be concentrated over areas of human chlorine production, rather than at the poles.

  22. There are many other factors that affect ozone they did not quantify or even mention above (perhaps more info in the full article…)

    - Strength of the winds, size/shape of the vortex, if as pochas points out – the vortex itself causes ozone loss. (link?)
    - Total ozone concentration of the entire atmosphere, how has that changed (isn’t that the most important thing compared to a spot where no one lives that has regional effects)? Vs:
    - Total chlorine in the atmosphere, and in the polar region, how much released by humans, and how has that changed?
    - Storminess of the sun: “A violent sun affects the Earths Ozone” http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/ProtonOzone/ … we’re in a very weak cycle, how big are the effects?
    - So many other factors, a few of which have been mentioned, how big are their effects?

    Blaming humans is so typical… and gives that added Bonus! Job security!

  23. Bill Illis says:
    October 24, 2012 at 6:36 pm
    The hole more-or-less started after the March-April 1982 El Chichon volcano
    ======
    As I recall there were a couple of early papers that found there was a hole years before, but they were largely discounted. It wasn’t until the Dupont patent ran out that the ozone hole became an issue, so that CFC’s would be banned, forcing everyone to switch to their new patent.

    But of course few people remember how the world was duped to protect a commercial interest armed with deep pockets to buy the best science available.

  24. davidmhoffer says:
    October 24, 2012 at 5:08 pm

    Ozone is produced by specific wavelengths of UV from the sun that ionize oxygen. Other wavelengths and processes break ozone down. In the tropics and temperate zones, the processes pretty much balance out. At the poles, sometimes production is favoured and sometimes breakdown is favoured. The elliptical orbit of the earth tends to favour a larger inbalance of one vs the other over the course of a year in the antarctic versus the arctic.
    =======================================================================
    So at the end of either poles winter, after months of the Sun not shining, the ozone layer at that pole is at it’s thinnest.
    So we don’t need to get rid of CFCs, we need to figure out how to blame Man for the poles being where the Sun don’t shine.

  25. This is neither “good news” nor “bad news”, it’s just news.

    Other than “faith”, there is no credible reason to believe the ozone hole over Antarctica is either affected by, nor has any effect on, human activity. It’s just… something that happens. I do feel bad for the people who fret and worry about this, though. There are so many valid things to worry about.

  26. “pochas says:
    October 24, 2012 at 2:51 pm
    [Ozone's] autodecomposition reaction is pressure dependent. At stratospheric pressures ozone is stable, but at surface pressures it decomposes rapidly even with no catalytic substances present (like the freons).”

    What normlly is the pressure at the south pole? I expect it will be on the high side because
    1. Cold air is more dense
    2. There is no centripetal force at the south pole (as opposed to at the equator).

    So, if the pressure at the south pole ordinarily is greater than anywhere else, shouldn’t we expect autodecomposition and an ozone hole?

  27. I do not have much time for this pseudoscience. A large amount of hype just in time to keep the patten protected profits for du Pont. The molecular density is so low at the measurement altitudes it is a wounder they can find any at all.

  28. But…but… the CAGW *sigh*entists say the reason for the record maximum Antarctic ice extent this year was due to the GROWING ozone hole!

    The CAGW *sigh*entists are RIGHT!

    This fabricated ozone data was obviously funded by Big Oil, Big Coal, Big Nuke, the Koch brothers… and… and… Mitt Romney PAC funds!….

    sarc/off….

    Hell is a human contrivance where truth, reason and logic cease to exist…

  29. …. and then there are some claiming that increased Antarctic ice, as in record Antarctic ice extents, are due to to an increased ozone hole.

    It’s all so confusing. Could you warmists please get your fabrications in sync.

  30. Normally, the stratosphere is supported by the convection of water vapor. The bottom of the stratosphere is approximately -40C. When the troposphere is colder, the stratosphere/troposphere boundary breaks down. Stratospheric air proceeds straight down to the surface, where it pushes outward. The ozone is brought along through the troposphere. The satellites are looking for ozone at the “usual” altitude.
    Remember the arctic ozone hole in winter of 2010-11? The northern jet stream had bifurcated and had a consistent circulation restraining the “cold” air around the north pole. This year, the jet stream is splitting again. So, I look forward to hearing the doom stories about an Arctic ozone hole this January.

  31. My understanding is that ozone is created by UV interaction with O2 which provides the energy to disassociate the Oxygen into its atoms which then recombine with other O2 molecules to produce O3. The whole process is apparently quite complex and is temperature and pressure dependent and certainly Chlorine and Fluorine have an impacts too…

    …but until recently it wasn’t known that UV varied as much as it apparently does and so it seems to me the variations of UV levels probably play a much larger role than anything else when it comes to maintaining the O3 levels in the atmosphere.

  32. Can I have my old, cheap, efficient, low working pressure, compatible with dated hardware R 22
    Freon back now ???
    Take a peek at the EPA’s website on R22 for a sardonic laugh.

  33. Well Ozone holes first appeared, when someone first looked for one. But ozone holes existed long before anyone thought to look for one, as evidenced by by a history of observed color Temperature changes, both seasonally, and randomly, which was attributed to variations in ground obseved UV levels, at least back into the late 40s and 50s.
    And Ozone is not all that stable as even blue green solar energy can break it down. But to make ozone, you need solar UV, and during the Antarctic winter midnight, the level of solar UV in Antarctica, is generally found to be somewhat less, than during the Antarctic summers. This has been hypothesized to be because of a general lack of solar radiation at those times, despite Trenberth’s insistence that the poles receive 342 W/m^2 all the time.

    The ozone layer is relatively thin, since the solar EUV can only penetrate a short distance into the atmosphere before O2 knocks it all out, and forms Ozone.

    Free chlorine in the atmosphere is too reactive to survive long enough to get to high altitudes. CFCs being rather stable, can survive till they get high enough for the EUV to break them down and free up the chlorine; well that’s the theory anyway.
    I tend to believe that the hole phenomenon is largely natural; but don’t completely discount a CFC effect.

  34. From SAMURAI on October 24, 2012 at 8:25 pm:

    Hell is a human contrivance where truth, reason and logic cease to exist…

    Hell is CARB?

  35. Gary Pearse said:
    October 24, 2012 at 1:44 pm
    …O2 is paramagnetic and is attracted to a mag field, O3 is diamagnetic and is pushed away.
    ————————————————-
    In a different topic, a Ferd Berple said: “The earth’s magnetic poles are in a period of rapid change, faster than at an time previously observed”.

    If all this is true, maybe the hole would follow magnetic south?

  36. barryjo said on October 24, 2012 at 4:11 pm:

    So may I presume the patent that DuPont holds on current CFC substitutes is coming to the end?
    And they have something else in the wings?

    Actually the new “Green” refrigerants are propane, iso-butane, and… An old refrigerant needing very high compression with a high outlet temperature that modern technology and materials can now efficiently handle, R744, carbon dioxide.

    I found a December 2011 press release from the GreenWar heralding the EPA decision to allow hydrocarbon refrigerants in the US, they’re already used elsewhere.

    EPA approval was motivated by the efforts of three main applicants.

    * The approved alternative R-441A, a blend of hydrocarbon gases was developed by AS Trust & Holdings, a small business based in Hawaii.
    * GE is introducing a household refrigerator to the U.S. market using isobutane gas as the refrigerant.
    * Ben and Jerry’s submitted its application and testing data to deploy propane cooled ice cream freezers like the ones Unilever already uses in Europe and elsewhere.

    I’d previously read about CO₂ successfully used as a refrigerant in new appliances in India.

    One of the cited benefits for commercial and automotive use, read elsewhere, is a small amount of leakage is tolerable, as these refrigerants have lower global warming potential than current refrigerants thus are safer for the environment, are plentiful and cheap, non-toxic thus are safer for the environment, and are plentiful and cheap.

    And of course, ammonia is still in use.

    I’d recommend Googling another link for info, as the GreenWar one threw up a “screen cover” about KFC being bad for the rainforest and wanting me to help in the protest. So here it is, late at night, the local KFC is closed, and I really need to counter-protest with some of that “11 herbs and spices” NOW. Dang inconsiderate Green bass-turds.

  37. Well, I see I’m not the only one who’s first thought was small ozone hole/record sea-ice…doesn’t add up.
    I’m sure the climate fabricators are busy writing new excuses and deep six’n their old theories.

  38. Er, Mike Wryley:

    R 22 Freon

    Freon is R12 … just wondering which EPA humor to look at, R22 or R12…because they’re both a whole lot of exasperating doublespeak.

  39. Ozone is created by UV from the sun. Ozone has a half life of about thirty minutes. For an extended period each year the sun does not shine at the poles. Result is a marked reduction in the ozone during winter in each hemisphere. How come these ozone-depleting gases only work at the poles? /s

  40. More clorine and bromine is produced naturally even through naturally produced CFCs then Clorine by manmade CFCs. The whole theory of destroying the ozone layer by manmade CFCs is a hoax.

  41. When the ozone hole was reported way back in the 70′s by BAS had any previous research found no hole? According to Wilipedia the O3 cycle is started by UV breaking down O2 molecules which combine with other O2 to form the ozone. Ozone is broken down by OH radicals, the most important, and Cl radicals. But removing the Cl will not alter the breakdown by the OH. Neither will any breakdown radicals alter the process of O3 formation which is completely independent of radical presence. We cannot remove the OH radicals since they are caused by the UV breakdown of water molecules.
    Sounds to me that there is a natural cyclic process here that we had a wrong leap of faith over.

  42. Funny how the CFC reduction instantly shrank the Hole, despite a 2 decade transit time requirement.
    The CFC Protocol was a practice sham gearing up for Decarbonization Fraud.

  43. ferdberple says
    The biggest source of chlorine on earth is from dissolved salt in the oceans. Cl2 gasses off in response to Ca capture by Co2, to form CaCo3 – limestone.
    The ozone hole is not caused by humans. It is caused by the sun interacting with the earth’s magnetic field at the poles. Otherwise, ozone “depletion” would be concentrated over areas of human chlorine production, rather than at the poles.

    Henry @ferdberple, Bill Illis
    Agreed. I have been able to figure out the dates: ozone declined from around 1950 and started moving up again from 1995.(more so in the SH than the NH, % wise)
    I find a strong correlation with rising maxima when ozone (and others) were going down, also from 1950, and falling maxima when ozone and others are up, from 1995. Curiously, maxima also increased higher than maxima in the NH…..

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2012/10/02/best-sine-wave-fit-for-the-drop-in-global-maximum-temperatures/

    So far, I do not exclude a gravitational or electromagnetic swing/switch that changes the UV coming into earth. In turn this seems to change the chemical reactions of certain chemicals reacting to the UV lying on top of the atmosphere. This change in concentration of chemicals lying on top of us, in turn causes more back radiation (when there is more), hence we are now cooling whilst ozone & others are increasing.
    (Bill Illis seemed to have got it the wrong way around)
    I am interested to hear your opinion as to what causes this swing/switch, one cycle is ca. 88 years.
    I suspect it is just the planets?

  44. Probably silly of me but I have always wondered how a hole that forms in winter, when it’s quite dark down there, can have an effect on beasties living outside the hole but still at a very oblique angle to the suns ultra violet rays.

  45. Here is a couple of Ozone maps (which show the actual concentrations of Ozone versus those processed “Hole” ones we often see).

    First global Ozone concentrations on Sept 22, 2012 (the date of the minimum). This doesn’t quite cover the south pole (next one does) but we can see that the Ozone concentrations next to Antarctica are actually the highest there is at 480 Dobson units versus the global average of 300.

    And then directly over the South Pole. There is a hole but why is there such large Ozone numbers around the outside. Just looks like a wind-driven rearrangement to me.

    Actual Ozone maps using operational satellites available here.

    http://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/sbuv2to/

  46. H.R. says:
    October 24, 2012 at 2:00 pm
    “Natural fluctuations in weather patterns resulted in warmer stratospheric temperatures this year. These temperatures led to a smaller ozone hole.”

    Wait up… temperature affected the ozone hole that much? Which has the bigger effect; chlorine or temperature? Seems like temperature to me. Give me back my inhaler propellant.

    It also goes in the wrong direction. The speed of every single reaction in gas phase increases as temperature increase, therefore, if temperature goes up CFCs caused ozone deplection speed should go up, but it does not. Like any other chemical kinetics that accuse CFC of causing the so called hole.

  47. Bill Illis says:
    October 25, 2012 at 6:25 am

    Here is a couple of Ozone maps…

    Wow. Can we get a little grammar here?

  48. Anthony or whoever : If CFC’s and the Ozone Hole is all BS, which I’ve seen arguments to that effect, what was the real purpose of the Montreal Protocol – was the science just wrong, or did the proponents and their political allies truly push the treaty as a trial run for a future CO2 treaty ?

    I recall seeing an article from the early 1970′s by some UN wonk (can’t remember the author) who was pushing a “Law of the Atmosphere” treaty designed to regulate, eliminate or tax everything dumped into the atmosphere.

    Then there was some big wheel scientist, (first name Robert, I think) a major player in the MP who later went on to head either the World Bank or the IMF, and I believe he had admitted that the MP was the test case for what the real goal was – which was regulating/taxing CO2.

    Can anyone refer to published news or science articles on the subject ? Gail Combs perhaps ? You frequently have interesting information, seemingly at your fingertips.

    GW

  49. Bill Illis says:
    October 25, 2012 at 6:25 am

    “And then directly over the South Pole. There is a hole but why is there such large Ozone numbers around the outside. Just looks like a wind-driven rearrangement to me.”

    Just like the air curtains at the supermarket, the atmosphere at the south pole is isolated from the rest of the lower troposphere by the polar vortex. Ozone produced in the stratosphere descends to the surface in the region of the polar vortex, yielding the concentration map so nicely depicted in the maps you referenced. At the pole, with no source of resupply, the ozone has decomposed naturally.

    The size of the ozone hole is determined by the polar vortex, which would be there either with or without ozone (but probably influenced by the temperature and the poleward flow of the stratosphere which does depend on ozone which in turn does depend on solar activity). We now are seeing at least some solar activity concurrent with the contraction of the ozone hole.

  50. Pochas says
    We now are seeing at least some solar activity concurrent with the contraction of the ozone hole
    Henry says
    I don’t get it. What is your point? It is the FUV and EUV that changes, apparently initiated by some gravitational or magnetic force. In turn, that causes some change in reactions on top of the atmosphere that cause there to be more ozone & others up there, which in turn causes more deflection (back radiation), i.e. cooling.

    http://blogs.24.com/henryp/2012/10/02/best-sine-wave-fit-for-the-drop-in-global-maximum-temperatures/

  51. HenryP says:
    October 25, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Pochas says
    We now are seeing at least some solar activity concurrent with the contraction of the ozone hole
    Henry says
    I don’t get it. What is your point?
    ——————————————
    The suggestion is that stratospheric heating caused by the UV/ozone connection intensifies the poleward flow in the stratosphere. This causes a contraction of the polar vortex which in turn allows shifting of the jet streams toward the poles with consequent warming of the lower troposphere. But this is pure speculation, and I am simply observing a coincidence.

    You say “It is the FUV and EUV that changes, apparently initiated by some gravitational or magnetic force. In turn, that causes some change in reactions on top of the atmosphere that cause there to be more ozone & others up there, which in turn causes more deflection (back radiation), i.e. cooling.”

    I seriously doubt whether warming the stratosphere would cause long-term cooling anywhere else. Having said that, the first thing that often happens during the runup to a strong solar cycle is a La Niña. The warming comes later. Yes, the UV changes are caused indirectly by magnetic forces on the sun. There are others here who might be able to help with magnetic effects on terrestrial atmospheric gases (I believe there are none). Now tidal effects, maybe. Coriolis force, definitely.

  52. It has always been a mystery to me how damaging levels of u/v rays streaming from the sun can manage to drop down through a hole at right angles to their original path and then strike humans as a carcenogenic medium. Do they richochet around the lower atmosphere?

  53. “The ozone hole mainly is caused by chlorine from human-produced chemicals, and these chlorine levels are still sizable in the Antarctic stratosphere,” said NASA atmospheric scientist Paul Newman”

    The southern hemisphere has much less industry and humans creating CFCs than the northern hemisphere, so why is the northern hole much smaller than the southern hole? You would have thought the opposite!

    Paul Wanamaker, add to your list of causes of the depleted ozone layer, and one that might explain the north/south size difference: the earth and its atmosphere may be slightly flatter in the south than they are in the north. Ozone is produced by certain UV wavelengths of sunlight, and with a shallower angle of incidence of sunlight at the southern hemisphere, there’s less ozone and a wider depletion layer – simple trigonometry.

  54. Code tech,
    Oops my bad, R12 really dates me, freon was a great cleaning agent too !

    GW, some have postulated that the Montreal Protocol was the prelude or practice run to the current CO2/global warming scam
    Follow the money

  55. Pochas says
    The suggestion is that stratospheric heating caused by the UV/ozone connection intensifies the poleward flow in the stratosphere. This causes a contraction of the polar vortex which in turn allows shifting of the jet streams toward the poles with consequent warming of the lower troposphere. But this is pure speculation, and I am simply observing a coincidence.
    Henry says
    Remember always: weather is the result of change of energy into earth. Trying to keep things simple, this rough graph / representation (on a cloudless day) is very important:

    http://albums.24.com/DisplayImage.aspx?id=cb274da9-f8a1-44cf-bb0e-4ae906f3fd9d&t=o

    Note the effect of ozone. It cuts a sizable portion of incoming radiation, of low wavelength. This type is quickly absorbed in water (esp. SH oceans) and converted to heat, because water has strong absorption in this region….
    In some paper of his, Trenberth showed that ozone is responsible for the absorption (i.e. back radiation, re-radiation) of about 25% of all that is absorbed in the atmosphere. Besides H2O, I think he never even looked at a number of other substances that also react to the UV, like NxOx and HxOx that subsequently will also back radiate more when there is more. Hence, I have found a good mechanism for the observed cooling since ozone started increasing. Ozone will not start decreasing again until around 2040.

  56. Measuring ozone depletion and reaction rates is difficult –

    “The primary ozone loss process in the cold polar lower stratosphere hinges on chlorine monoxide (ClO) and one of its dimers, chlorine peroxide (ClOOCl). Recently, analyses of atmospheric observations have suggested that the equilibrium constant, Keq, governing the balance between ClOOCl formation and thermal decomposition in darkness is lower than that in the current evaluation of kinetics data….

    “Overall, values of Keq reported in the literature vary by a factor of 2 at 298 K (and by larger factors at lower temperatures; e.g., ref. 13). Smaller values of Keq imply greater thermal dissociation
    of ClOOCl, resulting in more ClO at a given temperature but less ClOOCl available to photolyze and consequently less chlorine-catalyzed ozone destruction, particularly in twilight. Better knowledge of Keq is therefore required for accurate prediction of polar ozone loss,,,

    “Our derived B leads to values of Keq that are ∼1.4 times smaller at stratospherically relevant
    temperatures than currently recommended, consistent with earlier studies…

    see http://www.pnas.org/content/107/15/6588.abstract

  57. What I have never seen addressed is the very high ozone levels that form in a ring around the depleted ozone hole area. I’ve never seen an explanation for the giant red ring of high ozone levels around the blue hole. This ring seems to also dissipate as the hole dissipates, and forms only when there is a severe depletion at the pole.

  58. To add to the discussion- there is very little mixing between NH and SH so chlorinated chemicals released in the NH will not make the SH. I agree with a comment above. Most atmospheric chlorine is oceanic in origin. The O3 holes are part of a natural cycle.

  59. John Marshall says:
    October 25, 2012 at 2:40 am
    When the ozone hole was reported way back in the 70′s by BAS had any previous research found no hole?
    ——————
    Well, I think the first measurement were done in 1956 when already an unexpected lower result was registered:

    http://junkscience.com/2012/04/08/exclusive-british-polar-research-in-crisis/

    (Applied Optics, March 1968), Dobson described an ozone monitoring program that began at Halley Bay in 1956.
    When the data began to arrive, “the values in September and October 1956 were about 150 [Dobson] units lower than expected. … In November the ozone values suddenly jumped up to those expected.

  60. Ozone is a very unstable chemical compound with a half life-dependent on temperature:

    http://www.ozoneapplications.com/info/ozone_properties.htm

    Ozone is created by the dissociation of Oxygen (O2) into free radicals due to an energy input such as lightning or UV radiation. Some of the free radicals form Ozone (O3). Ozone is depleted over the poles in the Winter since the Sun is not shining, it is dark and there is no UV radiation in the Stratosphere to create Ozone.

    I am a Chemical Engineer and figured this out in high school chemistry. My father said in the 1940′s they were teaching about the holes in the Ozone layer over the poles.

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