For several days last week, the protective ozone layer over Europe thinned considerably. Scientists monitoring ozone coverage using a rapid mapping technique based on data from the GOME (Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment) instrument aboard ESA`s ERS-2 satellite detected finger-like ozone thinning over Europe.
"From 28-30 January, we observed a pronounced `streamer event`," explains DLR`s Thilo Erbertseder, "where streamers of tropical air pushing up from the equatorial regions spread over southern Spain, France and Germany. Ozone levels in tropical air are much lower than those over more northern regions, and the end result was to decrease total ozone coverage to a low level of only 250 Dobson units."
The immediate effect of the low-ozone event was to increase exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun by 20-30% under clear skies. However, this type of event is alarming for another reason. "The occurrence of mini ozone holes and streamers is highest over Europe," adds Erbertseder, "and the frequency is increasing due to changes in stratospheric meteorology. The continual decline in ozone levels due to chemical depletion and the increase in in frequency of mini ozone holes over Europe is resulting in an increase in harmful biologically active UV radiation."
GOME has revealed that mini-hole and low-ozone events have been increasing in frequency lately. Very low ozone total column densities over Europe of below 200 Dobson Units were measured on 30 November 1999 and on 8 November 2001. The most recent event was accompanied by unusually warm weather in Central Europe.
Wolfgang Lengert | alphagalileo
Arctic melt ponds form when meltwater clogs ice pores
24.01.2017 | University of Utah
New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland
19.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.01.2017 | Life Sciences
24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine