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 Computer model predicts how fracturing metallic glass releases energy at the atomic level
20.07.2018 | American Institute of Physics

nachricht What happens when we heat the atomic lattice of a magnet all of a sudden?
18.07.2018 | Forschungsverbund Berlin

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>