Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Western-led research studies ozone, good and bad

12.11.2007
Depending on its altitude, ozone can be either friend or foe.
Thanks to new research led by The University of Western Ontario, scientists will now have a better understanding of ozone, its origin and the role – good or bad – it plays in polluting our atmosphere.
Ozone is a colourless, toxic gas named for the Greek word for smell because of its pungent odour.

In the stratosphere, acting as friend, it forms the ozone layer, which fends off harmful ultraviolet solar rays.

During pollution events, ozone turns to foe as it interacts with other pollutants, effectively generated by factories, cars and machinery, and descends from the stratosphere into the troposphere (the lowest layer of the atmosphere), where the ozone itself becomes a pollutant that damages forests, crops and human health.

In this week’s Nature, “the world’s leading scientific journal,” a study led by Western physics and astronomy professor Wayne Hocking reveals new discoveries about how ozone moves through our skies and how so-called “ozone intrusions” from higher altitudes can be monitored using a relatively simple radar instrument called a “windprofiler.”

The research suggests that “ozone-intrusion events” are associated with relatively sudden changes in the altitude of the boundary between the troposphere and the stratosphere (called the tropopause), which is usually found at an altitude of eight to 12 kilometres.

“We often blame humankind for the problems associated with the ozone layer and ozone pollution, and indeed we have to take responsibility for some significant effects, but this research shows that sometimes the effects we see are just nature in action,” said Hocking, who leads Western’s Atmospheric Dynamics Group, a research team that studies dynamical motions in the atmosphere at heights from ground level to 100 kilometres altitude.

The research was conducted by releasing balloon-borne, ozone-detecting instruments into the skies above Quebec and Ontario, while measuring tropopause height using windprofilers.

For more information, please contact Wayne Hocking at 519-661-3652 (office), 519-657-7822 (home), whocking@uwo.ca or visit http://www.physics.uwo.ca/~whocking/

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Media Relations Officer, The University of Western Ontario, 519-661-2111 ext. 85165

Jeff Renaud | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.physics.uwo.ca/~whocking/
http://www.uwo.ca

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht APEX takes a glimpse into the heart of darkness
25.05.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie

nachricht First chip-scale broadband optical system that can sense molecules in the mid-IR
24.05.2018 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

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

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>