According to a recent report published in the journal Science by Harvard atmospheric scientist James Anderson and others, severe summer thunderstorms, of the sort predicted under climate change, are injecting water into the normally very dry upper stratosphere over the US, resulting in chemical reactions that are damaging the protective ozone layer, reports Henry Fountain at the New York Times. Specifically, the water interacts with chemicals that remain in the atmosphere from CFCs, refrigerant gases once emitted but now banned. The risk of ozone damage, scientists said, could increase if global warming leads to more such storms. “It’s the union between ozone loss and climate change that is really at the heart of this,” said Anderson. “This problem now is of deep concern to me,” he added, and “I never would have suspected this.” Ozone helps shield people, animals and crops from damaging ultraviolet rays from the sun. A thinning ozone layer over the US during summers could mean an increase in ultraviolet exposure for millions of people causing an increase in skin cancer, the researchers said, adding that that similar conditions could exist at other mid-latitude regions.
Storms Threaten Ozone Layer Over U.S., Study Says By HENRY FOUNTAIN http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/27/science/earth/strong-storms-threaten-ozone-layer-over-us-study-says.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all