Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Record cold winter may increase ozone hole over North Europe

01.02.2005


European scientists confirmed that Arctic high atmosphere is reaching the lowest ever temperatures this winter, warning that destruction of the protective ozone layer is substantially increased under very cold conditions. First signs of ozone loss have already been detected. The ozone layer is located in the so called stratosphere, the lowest layer of the atmosphere, at an altitude of about 8 km in the Poles, and its function is to protect the earth’s surface from harmful solar UV radiation. More than 170 countries have ratified the Montreal Protocol, an environmental treaty established in 1987 to protect the ozone layer. Should further cooling of the Arctic stratosphere occur, increasing ozone losses can be expected for the next couple of decades. A hole in the ozone layer can lead to intensified UV harmful radiation affecting inhabited Polar regions and Scandinavia, possibly down to central Europe. This could have consequences for human health (increased cases of skin cancer) as well as for biodiversity.



“The Arctic has experienced an extremely harsh winter. The first signs of ozone loss have now been observed, and large ozone losses are expected to occur if the cold conditions persist”, says European Commissioner for Science and Research Janez Potonik.

European scientists observe changes in the thickness of the ozone layer in the Arctic on a daily basis, as part of the European research initiative SCOUT-03, a very useful tool to predict future development of the ozone layer in global climate models, involving 59 institutions and over 200 scientists from 19 countries.


Measurements from the ground-based network of atmospheric observing stations and from satellites are being combined to investigate the ozone loss in the coming weeks. The extremely cold conditions are of concern and scientists will be addressing a number of questions: How large will the ozone loss be? What will be the increase in UV radiation and in which countries will they occur? Why has the Arctic stratosphere cooled in December over the past 50 years? Are the conditions more favourable for large ozone losses than before?

Overall, a decrease in total ozone in the Arctic region has been observed since 1980, although there is considerable year-to-year variation in the observed values. This variability in the ozone loss is to be contrasted with the Antarctic, where nearly complete ozone loss has taken place in almost all winters since the late 1980s. This difference is linked to the Arctic warmer winter conditions. The concern is that the Arctic appears to be moving into Antarctic-like conditions which will result in an increase in UV radiation levels that will have consequences on human health in northern hemisphere countries. The Parties to the Montreal Protocol meet annually to decide on further improvements to reduce and eventually phase out ozone-depleting substances, thereby encouraging faster recovery of the ozone layer.

Julia Acevedo | alfa
Further information:
http://www.cec.eu.int
http://www.ozone-sec.ch.cam.ac.uk/

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht AWI researchers measure a record concentration of microplastic in arctic sea ice
24.04.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung

nachricht Climate change in a warmer-than-modern world: New findings of Kiel Researchers
24.04.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum Technology for Advanced Imaging – QUILT

24.04.2018 | Information Technology

AWI researchers measure a record concentration of microplastic in arctic sea ice

24.04.2018 | Earth Sciences

Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled

24.04.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>