Galactic Cosmic Rays May Be Responsible For The Antarctic Ozone Hole

NOTE: It has been pointed out to me by an email from a regular WUWT reader that some people get a different conclusion from the headline other than what I was thinking of.  So, for those who didn’t read the paper fully to the conclusion, I offer this clarification:

In the conclusions of the paper here (PDF) there is this:

Thus, the above facts (1)–(5) force one to conclude that the CR-driven electron-induced reaction is the dominant mechanism for causing the polar O3 hole.

(CR stands for Cosmic Rays) The above conclusion is what I based my title on.  The titled also merited a “may be” caveat until replication of the work is done by another scientist. Anyone reaching a different conclusion, such as one of CFC’s not being involved, is erroneous. Cosmic Rays are drivers (or some may say a catalyst) of a complex reaction involving CFC’s, resulting in ozone ‘O3‘ depletion, and that is what is referred to in the conclusion.

While I had considered changing the headline to make it clearer for those who don’t read scientific papers completely, substituting the word “responsible” with “a Catalyst”, doing so would break web links already in place, and that would appear to some that the article had been removed, when that would not be the case.

Comments are normally closed automatically after 60 days, but I’m opening them up again for a short period since there has been a change to the article.

– Anthony


The Antarctic Ozone Hole is said to be caused only by Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s). According to this new study, perhaps not. (h/t to John F. Hultquist)

The Antarctic Ozone Hole Source: NASA Goddard

The Antarctic Ozone Hole. Click for larger image. Source: NASA Goddard

Here is a new paper of interest just published in Physical Review Letters.

Correlation between Cosmic Rays and Ozone Depletion

Q.-B. Lu

Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1, Canada

Abstract:

This Letter reports reliable satellite data in the period of 1980–2007 covering two full 11-yr cosmic ray (CR) cycles, clearly showing the correlation between CRs and ozone depletion, especially the polar ozone loss (hole) over Antarctica. The results provide strong evidence of the physical mechanism that the CR driven electron-induced reaction of halogenated molecules plays the dominant role in causing the ozone hole. Moreover, this mechanism predicts one of the severest ozone losses in 2008–2009 and probably another large hole around 2019–2020, according to the 11-yr CR cycle.

ozone_gcm_lu

Percentage variations of CR flux (solid magenta line) and annual mean total O3 measured at two Antarctic stations, Faraday/Vernadsky (in red and green).

Excerpts from the paper:

There is interest in studying the effects of galactic cosmic rays (CRs) on Earth’s climate and environment, particularly on global cloud cover in low atmosphere (3 km) and ozone depletion in the stratosphere. The former has led to a different scenario for global warming, while the latter has provided an unrecognized mechanism for the formation of the O3 hole. The discovery of the CR-cloud correlation by Svensmark and Friis-Christensen has motivated the experiments to investigate the physical mechanism for the correlation. In contrast, the CR-driven electron reaction mechanism for  O3 depletion was first unexpectedly revealed from laboratory measurements by Lu and Madey. Then the evidence of the correlation between CRs, chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) dissociation, and O3 loss was found from satellite data by Lu and Sanche: the O3 hole is exactly located in the polar stratosphere and at the altitude of 18 km where the CR ionization shows a maximum.

CRs are the only electron source in the stratosphere, while halogen(Cl, Br)-containing molecules are long known to have extremely large cross sections of dissociative attachments of low-energy electrons. The latter reaction will be greatly enhanced when halogenated molecules are adsorbed or buried at the surfaces of polar molecular ice, relevant to polar stratospheric cloud (PSC) ice in the winter polar stratosphere, as firstly discovered by Lu and Madey and subsequently confirmed by others in experiments and theoretical calculations.

Read the complete paper here (PDF)

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Barrie Sellers

Look, we don’t need fancy explanations for the ozone hole; Ozone is produced by sunlightin the stratosphere: In the Antarctic winter there is no sunlight so Ozone is no longer created; the remaining Ozone, being naturally unstable, has a half life and steadily diminishes until the sun comes back.
That’s it! No need for CFCs no need for cosmic rays. If this is too simple tell me what I’m missing.

KimW

But, but, Montreal 1972 assured us that the evil CFC’s were to blame and if we got rid of them, then all would be allright. Tell us it ain’t so.
Seriously, this is not good news for those who live under the Ozone Hole or its extremities.

Pearland Aggie

KimW (12:19:46) :
Too bad we have phased out or are in the process of phasing out some of the best, most compressible synthetic refrigerants ever developed….and all due to the Montreal protocol. Think about the billions of dollars wasted on upgrading refrigeration equipment and retrofitting of refrigerants…and for what?
Maybe we can avoid this type of boondoggle with AGW…somehow I doubt it though.

Dorlomin

“KimW (12:19:46) :
But, but, Montreal 1972 assured us that the evil CFC’s were to blame ”
You tell them Kim. Those crazy econuts were spreading scares about the ozone hole DECADES before it was discovered……

Anthony
How do we contact you with potential stories as I forwarded this to you a week ago?
My main comment would be that the explanation is plausible, but we have no way of knowing whether or not there has always been an ozone hole, and if the current one is larger or smaller than normal.
Judging by the correspondence I have had with various top scientists in this field they don’t really know either, as they have been focused so much on using data that assumes the exisring theory is correct. Sound familiar?
Whatever happened to the good old scientific belief encapsulated in the motto of the Royal Society ‘Nobody’s word is final.’
Tonyb

Pearland Aggie

KimW (12:19:46) :
One more thing….it’s interesting that Dr. Dobson discovered the ozone hole in 1956–long before the advent of ubiquitous mechanical refrigeration and air conditioning. He invented the ground-based instrument to measure atmospheric ozone and even discovered the seasonal variation in ozone concentrations, now called “recovery”.
http://www.junkscience.com/Ozone/ozone_seasonal.html

Robinson

Wow. All those wasted fridges………………

AndyR

KimW (12:19:46) :
Seriously, this is not good news for those who live under the Ozone Hole or its extremities.
Not worth worrying about …..Only a bunch of New Zealanders…. 😉

Taking into account CFC’ s molecular weight I would accept that they could make a hole but in the ground!
No more “hollywood science”, please!

David Ermer

Isn’t the artice claiming that cosmic rays enhance the CFC caused loss to the ozone? “CR driven electron-induced reaction of halogenated molecules plays the dominant role in causing the ozone
hole.”.
Maybe “Galactic Cosmic Ray Enhancement of CFC Caused Damage May Be Responsible For The Antarctic Ozone Hole” would be a better title.

I’m 60 years old.
I was in primary school in 1954.
I remember my primary school headmistress teaching our class that Ozone was produced by the action of SUNLIGHT (ie (she meant) solar radiation) on our atmosphere.
No surprise, then, that ozone depletion is observed at the polar extremities.
She must have got this from somewhere!!!!
Does nobody else have any similar recollection?

Barry L.

Ah yes…. and the correlation to surface temperature is:
Quote:
At the same time, less lower stratospheric ozone would be available to trap outgoing infrared radiation from the surface and the lower atmosphere. The net effect is calculated to be a slight cooling at the surface, but a more significant cooling in the lower stratosphere. Scientists remain uncertain about the impact this changing stratospheric temperature profile will have.
http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/science_and_impacts/science/the-science-of-ozone.html
Would this be another climate feedback related to cosmic rays, where increased rays result in cooler temperatures??
Another feedback not in current climate models?

Jon Jewett

Being a simple-and humble-red neck, I am confused.
The abstract seems to imply that the CGRs cause the various halogenated hydrocarbons (refrigerants) to disassociate and the free radicals cause the loss of the ozone.
That would mean that both the CGRs and halogenated hydrocarbons are required.
Am I missing something??
Regards,
Steamboat Jack

Howarth

About 20 years ago I heard a rumor, and I believe it is a rumor but I think it is an interesting one. It goes like this. DuPont’s CFC patent was going to expire and they were going to losing a large market share of the refrigerant market. Along comes the hole in the ozone theory and they covertly jump on it while patenting the next refrigerant R22 or R32 or something like that. It all worked out for them. Didn’t help me much when I was work on my boats fish hold refrigerant which was R12. But that’s just a rumor too. I didn’t buy the CFC/Ozone connect then just like I don’t buy the AGW theory now. The science is way to young for either one to start making trillion dollars mistakes.

crosspatch

I have always had a few problems with this whole CFC/Ozone thing. One problem was that it was said it would take some 50 years for the impact of Montreal to be realized because it took that long for the CFCs to get up to that level.
There are two problems with that. One is that it would suppose, then, that the ozone hole noticed in the 1980’s was the result of CFCs released in the 1930’s of which as far as I know, there weren’t any. Secondly, air is transported from ground level to 20Km altitude each and every day by storms. A tropical cyclone takes an absolutely fantastic amount of air to very high altitude. Other storms do as well. The notion that it takes air that long to get to that altitude always seems somewhat preposterous to me. Anything that gets well-mixed into the lower atmosphere will be transported up to about 20km fairly easily by storms.
Then there is this whole notion that the CFC source of ozone degradation was the result of a calculation that apparently amplified the impact of the CFCs by an order of magnitude. I can’t find that item right now, but I believe it was published in the past couple of years.
More interestingly is the discovery that volcanoes inject something like 5 times as much chlorine into the upper atmosphere as exists in CFCs. Are there any volcanoes near the polar regions? (rhetorical question, really).
There should be a way to test all of this. Ozone holes are apparently largest when the circumpolar jet is exceptionally strong keeping air better “sequestered” at the poles and prevented from mixing with the rest of the atmosphere. When the jet is strong, the upper atmosphere at the poles is exceptionally strong. So we should see a correlation between temperature and size of the ozone depletion area.
In long periods of increased cosmic rays, the impact should be felt at both poles if these rays are a prime candidate for ozone destruction. So what I would expect to see is something that looks like this:
During periods of about equal cosmic ray counts, the size of the ozone hole should track well with temperature of the upper atmosphere in winter. Periods of increased cosmic rays would show an increase in ozone destruction and a larger depletion area than is experienced during periods with equal temperatures but lower cosmic ray counts. So lets say you have 10 years. 5 of them low cosmic ray counts and 5 high. In years with low counts, size of the depletion area should be about the same in years with about the same temperatures aloft. In years with higher ray counts, the depletion area would increase over the area for low count years with the same temperature aloft.

crosspatch

“When the jet is strong, the upper atmosphere at the poles is exceptionally strong. ”
OOps, meant “When the jet is strong, the upper atmosphere at the poles is exceptionally *cold*”

tallbloke

Well I didn’t think it was my armpit spray.
I want another halon fire extinguisher. The best on the market for cockpit blazes. How many lives have been lost due to another misguided ‘it must be us’ theory?

INGSOC

The Canadian Discovery channel program “Daily Planet” had an item just yesterday that claimed the ozone hole is gone! It was a very short piece with no explanations other than that we can “pat ourselves on the back” for such a feat.
I’ll see if I can find a link.

Roger Knights

Two observations: First, It was more justifiable to ban Freon (etc.) back in the 70s that it is to penalize CO2 now, because the cost to do so was relatively low, the danger was great, and the margin of error, timewise, was short.
Second: I’ve suspected that Hansen (and others) modeled their CO2=warming thesis on the template of the Freon=ozone hole template. If a natural cause is discovered for the ozone hole, that discovery will, or should, reverse the parallel-controversy precedent that they and many in the public are relying on to bolster the credibility of the CAGW position.
Third, if it turns out, a few years down the road, that the Freon connection is thoroughly debunked, this can be used by our side as a stick with which to belabor the alarmists.

Dorlomin

“David Ermer (13:11:07) :
Maybe “Galactic Cosmic Ray Enhancement of CFC Caused Damage May Be Responsible For The Antarctic Ozone Hole” would be a better title.”
Hats off to you sir. You managed to read the article before going in all guns blazing. 🙂

kuhnkat

KimW,
as Barrie Sellers mentioned, the ozone hole exists during the antarctic winter and early spring, which is also when the sun is mostly below the horizon. In the areas where there is overlap, that is, the sun does get above the horizon and the ozone hole is still above them, the direct sunlight is coming in at a low angle where it is still being filtered by atmosphere outside of the hole. The increased UV is oversold.
Here are some pictures to hopefully clarify what I am trying to get across:
http://www.jamesriser.com/JamesRiser/Science/seasons/seasons2.htm

stumpy

No wonder I am so brown this summer living in NZ!

George E. Smith

“”” TonyB (12:36:07) :
Anthony
How do we contact you with potential stories as I forwarded this to you a week ago?
My main comment would be that the explanation is plausible, but we have no way of knowing whether or not there has always been an ozone hole, and if the current one is larger or smaller than normal. “””
There have always been ozone holes; they just weren’t called that until somebody called them that, after looking and finding one; “lookie there I do believe that’s an ozone hole !”
One can find numeraous references in typically Optical texts and handbooks in chapters dealing with “light sources” and in particular “natural light sources” such as the sun (moon and stars)
Back in the 40s-50s there was much work done on the ground level and high altitude solar spectrum. For one, the Air Force was keenly interested in the high altitude EM radiation hazards to pilots (or plane crews).
It is quite common to find references to the sun as a light source with notations that the sun is known to have seasonal and random variations in “color Temperature”, as een from the ground; and these references often cite a belief in variations in the high energy (UV) end of the solar spectrum as a proximate cause for solar color temperature variations; and the seasonal effect is a distinct clue to variations in ground level solar radiation due to appearance and disappearnace of ozone holes.
Now actually, if you look at the air mass one solar spectrum you can see that ozone is credited with taking a big chunk out of the peak of the solar spectrum evn out to the blue green region; so clearly ozone variations can be and are a cause of seasonal changes in apparent color temperature of the sun as a natural light source.
It was likely sometime during the IGY in 1957/58 when somebody; most likely a Frenchman (ofr unknown reasons); had nothing better to do with his time or his research grant so he looked for an ozone hole and there it was; and he named it on the spot; and of course imbued it with a legacy that said no such thing ever existed before.
But I’m believer in the sun maketh, and the sun taketh away.
Solar UV of 200 nm or less (vaccuum UV) breaks up molecular Oxygen (can’t recall the eV requirement for that cleavage).
Atomic Oxygen is too reactive to hang around long enough to get two of them back together (remember that in the cleavage, the two oxygen atoms take off in opposite directions in CM space; and they never see each other again. So each O latches onto the next O2 it encounters, and makes a threesome out of it; which however is not too stable but a damn side more stable than O is
I don’t think you can ever not have ozone if you have O2 and solar vaccuum UV. If you have both of those at any altitude, you will get atomic O and it will not put up with that conditions so you will get ozone; CFCs or no.
George
But absent sunlight; expect to get an ozone hole.

Hank

Didn’t someone get a Nobel prize for elucidating the role of ice crystals in ozone depletion? Was that just a hypothesis and this new finding is of a more dominant cause? That would be news. Reporters should be calling up their friendly scientific news source for quotes.

kuhnkat

A BIG issue on the Ozone Hole is, why isn’t there one over the North Pole????
We have the same amount of time without direct sunlight. We have pretty much the same atmospheric constituents during the summers. So why no northern hole??
The theory I find reasonable is the southern circumpolar circulation. That is, due to the land sea configuration at the south pole there are winds which DO tend to partition the atmospheric exchange so the loss of ozone can not be replaced with ozone from areas with direct sunlight. This is obviously not a feature of the north pole.
This post adds another possibility. North and South Pole opposite polarities. Do the magnetic fields bias the GCR’s, or even solar particles, to add to this situation??

George E. Smith

One might ask why it is that swimming pool chloronation is not a worse hazard to the ozone layer than CFCs ever thought of being.
Well unlike CFCs which are very stable; chlorine or other halogens are very reactive, so swimming pool chlorine gets reacted into something else befre it ever makes it up into the stratosphere.
On the other hand CFCs are highly stable because of the Fluorine; which is hell on wheels in the free state.
So CFCs can make it up into the stratosphere, where ultimately there’s a solar UV photon of enough energy to satisfy anybody, including CFC molecules; and thats’ when they get broken down to release the chlorine.
The fluorine part being even more reactive likely grabs something else before it finds an ozone molecule. Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But basically I think it the sun that giveth, and then taketh away.
George

The ozone concentration in the graph varies by a whole +/- 9% . Some hole!
This is of course the long term variability not the seasonal one which seems to well established as being due to lack of sunlight in the winter and the fact that ozone is unstable with the decay being helped by naturally occurring chlorine and bromine.
I’m with crosspatch on the 50 years thing. The idea is that the results won’t be visible (or not) until the perps are all dead or in nursing homes.
tallbloke asks about lives lost? Try Columbia for starters. CFCs were a part of urethane foam blowing processes. Then the CFCs were removed and the great 1990’s foam disaster happened. The replacement foams either crumbled to nothing or kept expanding which was disastrous for people constructing coolrooms, various refrigerators(I owned one) and even composite aircraft propellers with foam cores.(direct experience of that one also).
Note also the CFCs were so non toxic that you had to displace enough oxygen to harm humans. The replacements can be fatal in concentrations as low as 4000ppm.

Stefan

TonyB: “Whatever happened to the good old scientific belief encapsulated in the motto of the Royal Society ‘Nobody’s word is final.’”
They changed the motto.
http://www.spiked-online.com/index.php?/site/article/3357/
Now it is supposed to be “respect the facts”.

Ron de Haan

The ozone hole was the first scam.
Global Warming the second.

Barrl L,
Thanks for the tip and link to its source from Union of Concerned Scientists as pasted below. I rarely agree wito UCS, but you and they may be onto something here. Would it be unscientific to ask whether fewer sunspots affect the interrelationships between Earth’s and Sun’s magnetic fields, and if fewer sunspots lead to a cooler Earth because more cosmic rays destroy more ozone, particularly near Earth’s magnetic poles?
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
A weakened ozone layer may also cause climatological effects. The stratosphere warms with altitude because the splitting of stratospheric ozone is caused by ultraviolet photons, which contain much more energy than that required to break the O-O2 bond. This extra energy is converted to heat. Less stratospheric ozone means less local heating, but it also means that more ultraviolet light is transmitted to heat the lower atmosphere and the earth’s surface.
At the same time, less lower stratospheric ozone would be available to trap outgoing infrared radiation from the surface and the lower atmosphere. The net effect is calculated to be a slight cooling at the surface, but a more significant cooling in the lower stratosphere. Scientists remain uncertain about the impact this changing stratospheric temperature profile will have.

Paul S

I’m going to do a superb segway here.
Antarctic = Cold
Cold is what you’ll feel in blizzards
blizzards expected in southern US

janama

But – according to this article we saved the ozone hole so we can save the climate!
http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/we-saved-the-ozone-layer-now-its-time-to-save-the-climate-20090326-9c4o.html?page=-1

George E Smith
Thanks for that great explanation
TonyB

The sun’s UV-A and UV-B produce and destroy ozone. The size of the ozone hole depends on the balance of the two coming from the sun, it varies and so does the hole.
Been known for a long time.
The CFC argument was proved false long ago by the very same people that proposed it in the first place. They actually did the experiments. When asked why they hadn’t done the experiments at the time, they said “we didn’t think we needed to”. Science at it’s best. Their paper is in the literature.

Steve Huntwork

Barrie Sellers has it right.
The “OZONE DONUT” is caused by the six months of darkness at the poles.
Just below the arctic circles (66.56756° North or South of the Equator) you get six months of sunsets, so there is a very high concentration of ozone.
The next time you see a plot of the ozone hole, look closely at the very high concentration of ozone around it’s perimeter.
This is why I have always called this the “OZONE DONUT.”

John F. Hultquist

Steve of GBrownLand (13:12:32) : recollections
At some point I learned it was the chemical with the odd smell caused by electrical discharges – lightening or large electircal motors. That would have been later than primary school.
I don’t think my primary school teachers knew of ozone.
Jon Jewett (13:21:33) : . . . confused
Someone will correct me if I’m wrong – I’m not a chemist.
halogen = Any of a group of five chemically related nonmetallic elements including fluorine, chlorine, bromine, iodine, and astatine. These elements are highly reactive and occur in naturally produced molecules and get into the atmosphere including the stratosphere.
chlorofluorocarbons = Freon = CF2Cl2 = industrially produced chemical
I think Freon (the refrigerant) is not the only chlorofluorocarbon but it is the one of interest in this context.
There are sufficient naturally occurring halogen compounds that size of the ozone “hole” is not dependent on the synthetic (human produced) one.
So humans are not involved but when the Sun is “quiet” GCRs enter the stratosphere and cause the reactions that produce the ozone hole.

kuhnkat (14:01:33) : said
“A BIG issue on the Ozone Hole is, why isn’t there one over the North Pole????”
I seem to recall being told that ironically there was such a big hole over the antarctic because it had been unusually cold -temperature being a pre-requisite. Similarly I was told there wasn’t one in the Arctic as it wasn’t cold eough. I don’t know if that is true or whether one might appear there if things continue to cool down
TonyB

Steve of GBrownLand (13:12:32) :
“I’m 60 years old.
I was in primary school in 1954.
I remember my primary school headmistress teaching our class that Ozone was produced by the action of SUNLIGHT (ie (she meant) solar radiation) on our atmosphere.”
I am 68…what did those “Gores” with science?..it would be interesting to know precisely when it all began…They even managed to change the “water cycle”, remember?, in the good all days the sun used to heat sea water to produce vapour, this clouds, clouds rain, and so on..
Where and when did it happen?, who did it?

George E. Smith

“”” bob (14:25:27) :
Barrl L,
Thanks for the tip and link to its source from Union of Concerned Scientists as pasted below. I rarely agree wito UCS, but you and they may be onto something here. Would it be unscientific to ask whether fewer sunspots affect the interrelationships between Earth’s and Sun’s magnetic fields, and if fewer sunspots lead to a cooler Earth because more cosmic rays destroy more ozone, particularly near Earth’s magnetic poles? “””
Well I stay away from the UCS; which is really a euphemism for something else. Outfits with weird made up names usually are other than what they seem.
But back to your question: “Would it be unscientific to ask ”
It is never unscientific to ask; damn silly to not ask in my book.
As I like to say; “Ignorance is not a disease; we are all born with it. But stupidity has to be taught, and there are plenty who are willing and able to teach it. ”
So never be afraid or ashamed to ask; that’s one good way to get smart.
But as to ozone and Cosmic Rays; Magnetic fields etc. I believe (and I am not alone) that the magnetic fields in the vicinity of the solar system, either of earth or sun origin or other, tend to affect the path’s of cosmic ray primaries and other charged particles including those from the sun. The lower energy particles entering earth vicinity can lock onto the earth magnetic field; specifically they spiral around the magnetic field lines, and travel in the general direction of one of the earth magnetic poles. Which pole just depends on the initial trajectory of the pcharged particle.
So if near earth magnetic fields are strong, CRs are steered away from the middle of the earth (equatorial regions) and tend to selectively clobber the upper atmosphere in the general vicinity of the magnetic poles which tend to be cold polar regions.
These charged particles striking upper atmopshere gases, create showers of secondary charged particles, and these tracks can become nucleation sites for water droplets to form out of water vapor. Water tends to condense on any surface or strange thing in the atmosphere; including those new bacteria that those Indian Scientists just discovered.
Now most of the water vapor in the atmosphere is in the more tropical warmer equatorial regions; so cosmic ray showers in the tropics can encourage cloud formations. But if CRs are steered away from the equatorial moist regions to the colder drier polar regions; well there isn’t a lot of water vapor to form much in the way of clouds.
So generally you can say that with strong near earth magnetic fields we get less cloud formation on earth so the albedo gets a little lower, and the ground level insolation gets a bit higher, because of fewer absorbing clouds. Note that even if the TSI never changed one iota during a solar sunspot cycle; the magnetic field changes that accompany the sunspot cycles would alter the Cosmic ray patterns, and so have a significant effect on earth warming and climate; so it isn’t the TSI it’s the water and the CRs that react to the sunspot cycles.
Something along those lines is the thesis put forward by Hendrik Svensmark et al; and I have to say I find the basic process to be quite compelling.
Anything that promotes cloud formation; such as the ash and aerosols from angry Alaskan Volcanoes, will tend to cool the earth because of lower ground level insolation.
Now what about that stratospheric ozone (or wherever that stuff is).
Well ozone has a stron absorption band in the 9-10 micron infra-red region; and that happens to be right at the peak of the earth surface mean temp thermal IR radiation (10.1 microns at 288 K.)
So the protective ozone layer is also an upper atmosphere warming GHG because of that 9-10 micron absorption band.
In the polar regions where ozone holes tend to occur at night (winter) the surface temperatures are much colder so the emitted IR radiation tends to be shifted to a longer wavelength as far as 15 microns in the coldest places; so that has the effect of reducing the effect of ozone absorption at the poles anyway, because the 10 micron band is now on the short side of the IR spectrum (Wiens Displacement Law) and only 25% of a Black body spectrum radiation is below the peak wavelength. Now the earth emissions are not truly BB anyway; but they are bounded by the BB spectrum,so its a good starting assumption.
So in the polar regions we have very little earth emitted IR anyway, as little as 12 times less than in the hottest tropical deserts; so there ain’t a lot of cooling going on in the polar regions, and what littel emitted IR there is is less affected by ozone or ozone holes than it would be over a hot tropical desert; which is where the most effective cooling is going on in the heat of the noonday sun.
Sounds a little weird; but I don’t make the rules. Way back when, somebody else noticed that hot things cool fast so we always make our car radiators nice and hot so they cool our engines effectively.
Covering your car radiator with ice is a losing proposition and only works for as long as the ice lasts.
So ozone does affect climate; but I think it is more of an upper atmosphere heating, than any cooling; but the Cosmetic Rays are good for us, and form lots of clouds to stop the planet from overheating.
So long as we have the oceans, we couldn’t change the temperature of this planet much; either up or down; even if we wanted to. the oceanic evaporation/cloud/precipitation cycle simply won’t let that happen.
Besides; what temperature would you set the knob to, if you had control of the thermostat ?
George

John H.- 55

way off topic BUT
What is with RealClimate? Dissent is not allowed to post?

John S

This theory is not new. Lu and Sanche published on it at least as far back as 2001.
For example, Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, 078501 (2001) ‘Effects of Cosmic Rays on Atmospheric Chlorofluorocarbon Dissociation and Ozone Depletion’ Q.-B. Lu and L. Sanche http://prola.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v87/i7/e078501
By my quick reading, it seems that what Lu and Sanche have suggested is that cosmic rays play a role dissociation of chlorofluorocarbons to cause the ozone hole.
The results provide strong evidence of the physical mechanism that the [cosmic ray] driven electron-induced reaction of halogenated molecules plays the dominant role in causing the ozone hole. The halogens are from CFCs.
They have not said that CFCs are not implicated, or that a hole in the ozone layer never existed. Only that one part of the mechanism may involve cosmic rays. Maybe they’re right. The more recent publication seems to support their earlier work. Further research may confirm or refute this.
In any case, the cost of stopping the release of CFCs was relatively low. Certainly hassle to refrigeration engineers and some others, but not significant within the grand scheme of the global economy.
If only the reduction of CO2 emissions were as simple, it would be a precaution easily worth taking. Unfortunately, in comparison, the cost of changing away from a carbon-based economy will be astronomical.

John H.- 55

I’m going to a Michales event in a couple hours and RC has a fresh thread about him.

Steve Keohane

This article, probably posted here on WUWT, states that they don’t know what causes 60% of the depletion, but it isn’t CFC’s.
Ozone chemistry confounds everyone
By Chris Lee | Published: October 01, 2007 – 08:59AM CT

Steve Keohane

Forgot this part:
Journal of Physical Chemistry, 2007, DOI: 10.1021/jp067660w

timetochooseagain

Er, conflation of the “Ozone Hole” with “depletion”? AFAWK, the “hole” could have been there forever-indeed, since the cold conditions down there are conducive to Ozone destroying reactions but not so much their creation, concentrations of O3 down there have probably always been low relative to the rest of the world.
Stefan, that’s rather disturbing-especially May’s talk of “respecting the facts” while endorsing Stern and AIT, which have been totally discredited by rational analysis as alarmist and continuously factually wrong, respectively.
janama, wow! The seem to be totally clueless. Climate mitigation is a nasty beast, and climate policy a sad farce. Not to mention the hubris of the idea of “saving” the climate. For what, and from what?

Steve

AndyR (12:42:06) :
Not worth worrying about …..Only a bunch of New Zealanders…. 😉
Andy, can I assume you are a eski toting, underarm bowling, idea stealer? 🙂
Only a problem for us “fush and chups” eaters if you accept the Linear No-Threshold Theory of Radiation Carcinogenesis.
I’m not so sure of it, I actually think avoiding sunlight exposure is far more damaging to your overall health than the health risks of a small amount of UV radiation. In any event [1] seems to show bugger all difference in our kiwiland O3 concentration compared to other places. It actually appears to be higher than some places north of the equator such as southern parts of the USA.
Trust me it’s not something I worry about.
[1] http://disc.sci.gsfc.nasa.gov/oceancolor/scifocus/oceanColor/ozone.shtml

Robert Bateman

The ozone hole would not be a feedback mechanism, but a loss mechanism.
A heat relief valve.
So if CFC’s under GCR’s are causing extra depletion, then they are cooling the Earth. Imagine that, a refrigerant cooling the Earth!
Absolutely amazing, Anthony.
We’re going to give Chu his pink slip and hire you instead.

crosspatch

“So CFCs can make it up into the stratosphere, where ultimately there’s a solar UV photon of enough energy to satisfy anybody, including CFC molecules; and thats’ when they get broken down to release the chlorine.”
But here is the problem I have with that notion … you don’t see any ozone depletion when there is sunlight present. Following that logic, you should see the greatest ozone depletion in the summer, when there is maximum sunlight breaking down the maximum number of CFC molecules to release the chlorine.
In fact, the notion of CFCs being responsible for ozone depletion has never been observed to be true. It is a theoretical model but someone recently (I seem to recall he was from a country in Eastern Europe) showed that the calculation was incorrect and by a significant margin.
I have also chuckled at the irony that Freon was “banned” just as DuPont’s patent on it was expiring and production of it would have gone into the public domain. People were then forced into more expensive refrigerants that still have a lot of patent life left in them.
But the key is the incorrect calculations that brought us to this mess to begin with. See:
“Chemists poke holes in Ozone Theory”
Nature Vol. 499 27 September 2007

Mr Lynn

George E. Smith (15:57:31) :
. . . Besides; what temperature would you set the knob to, if you had control of the thermostat ?

Warmer.
/Mr Lynn

VG

Looks like the Australian BOM may be “cooking the books” I usually have a very high regrardfor meteorologists, doubt very much that it would be a “real” meteorologist at BOM who is doing this. More likely probably a party hack from the government has instructed this to occur LOL .
http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2009/03/confirmation-bias-at-the-australian-bureau-of-meteorology/?cp=4#comment-91589