Wednesday, December 31, 2003


Chris Vinall has given some answers to my earlier posts about the ozone layer that seem reasonable, though I have yet to absorb the mass of data he has pointed me to. At first glance, however, it STILL seems to me that the 2002 shrinkage was NOT predicted so still shows the models used for it as inadequate.

Here's another point that would seem to question our understanding of the phenomenon: Ozone is a highly reactive chemical that reacts not only with CFCs but also with nitrogen oxides. And guess what produces huge amounts of nitrogen oxides in the upper atmosphere? Nuclear explosions. And between October 1961 and December 1962, the USA and the U.S.S.R. between them exploded 340 megatons of nuclear devices into the atmosphere. So that produced a drastic reduction in the earth's ozone layer and gave millions of people skin cancer -- right? Wrong! Nobody noticed any such effect and, according to Foley and Ruderman of Columbia University Physics Department, by ten years after that period average ozone levels had actually increased! That ozone layer seems to be a lot more resilient than we think! So once again earth's climatic phenomena seem far too complex for prediction by simple laboratory models and what the models tell us to be bad for the atmosphere may even be good for it.

And I still can't see how anybody can get past the fact that the hole is still at least as big as ever DESPITE CFCs having been banned 12 years ago. Maybe Chris will explain it to me in short words.


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