SERIOUS MONDAY: THE GOOD, THE BAD – AND THE PLAIN UGLY

 

We’re following an age-old tradition today by giving you first the good news….

Scientists believe that tropical cyclones and coastal erosion may be a small help in the fight against global warming because they wash vegetation and soil containing greenhouse gases into the sea.

Research in Taiwan has revealed that floods caused by a typhoon four years ago swept a small amount of carbon from leaves, roots and soil into the Pacific Ocean where it sank to the seabed.

However, experts say the amount of carbon being “dumped” by these natural events is (if you’ll pardon the pun) just a drop in the ocean compared with the amount of carbon that mankind is creating through the burning of fossil fuels.

And now the REALLY bad news …. 

The “hole” in the Ozone Layer is bigger this year than it was in 2007, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).

Latest figures show the size of the thinned ozone layer over the South Pole is now around 27 million sq kms – a size almost equal to that of the North American continent.

Image description: darker areas show the ozone “hole” which is actually a “thinning” of the Ozone Layer rather than an actual hole.

And scientists now believe that global warming will affect the rate at which the Ozone Layer recovers because hotter temperatures on earth mean lower temperatures in the stratosphere (higher atmosphere) and this will speed up ozone depletion.  

There are also other factors that could prevent the Ozone Layer from repairing itself by around 2070 as had been originally estimated – including proposals for a new type of supersonic transport.

Back in the 1980s an international agreement known as the Montreal Protocol was signed to outlaw certain man-made chemicals (often used in aerosols) which were damaging the Ozone Layer.

It has been extremely successful but many experts say that when scientists gave their prediction of the year 2070 for repair of the “hole” in the Ozone Layer, they didn’t take account of future actions by mankind that could jeopardise this.

If you’d like to find out more about what causes “holes” in the Ozone Layer, check out this video from NASA

Susan

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3 Responses to “SERIOUS MONDAY: THE GOOD, THE BAD – AND THE PLAIN UGLY”


  1. 1 Eugene October 21, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Nice article. Thanks. 🙂 Eugene

  2. 2 Susan November 2, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Hi Eugene,

    many thanks for your comment – it’s always nice to get some feedback 🙂

    Susan


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