Friday, May 26, 2006

Holes in the upper atmosphere and beyond

Yesterday I was writing about how I hoped that our collective actions - and those of our governments - really have made a difference to the ozone layer, but that although a new model predicted that the hole will disappear by 2050, I wanted more data before I would really believe that the hole is truly shrinking.

Ask and ye shall receive, I guess!

Apparently there is other evidence out there that the loss of ozone is levelling off: data from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), from NASA and from a global monitoring network have shown that chlorine (a major component of CFCs, which caused the hole in the ozone layer in the first place) has leveled off in the atmosphere, and now show that ozone loss is leveling off, too.

The paper, by Betsy Weatherhead of NOAA says that the improvements are due to the 1987 enaction of the Montreal protocol. So hopefully that shrinkage will start to happen soon.

How nice to have a Canadian association to an environmental success story (however remote). How frustrating that the current Canadian environmental agenda seems to have disappeared into a hole of a blacker variety.

Click here for NOAA's latest view of the hole in the ozone layer. I wanted to show you today's picture but it won't upload for some reason. Grrr.

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