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Saturday, April 25, 2009

The ozone hole could be holding back an Antarctic thaw...


The ozone hole could be holding back an Antarctic thaw, according to British research on the subject.

Ozone depletion is described as two distinct, but seperate observations: A slow steady decline of about 4% per decade in the total volume of ozone in the Earth's stratosphere since the late 1970's, and a much larger seasonal decrease in stratospheric ozone over the Earth's polar regions - the Ozone hole!

The ozone hole has been blamed for decades for causing increased skin cancers in the Southern Pacific areas encompassing Australia and New Zealand.

The ozone hole could actually be saving the Antarctic from thawing - holding back the effects of greenhouse gases in the Antarctic. The hole is reportedly causing more storms and extreme winds around the South Pole and in the process actually cooling down much of the Antarctic area.

This leaves a dilemma for humans - repair the ozone hole, or leave it for nature to do the job over the next fifty years. However scientists claim there could be a loss of up to one third of the sea ice in the Antarctic area.

Reference: John Turner, "Geophysical Research Letters".

Read here

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