NEW Large Pacific Ozone Hole Lets Pollutants Rise High Up

NEW Large Pacific Ozone Hole Lets Pollutants Rise High Up reports Andrea Thompson at Climate Central. Researchers have found another large ozone hole, this time over the west tropical Pacific. No atmospheric ozone (O3) there also means no companion gaseous hydroxyl radicals (OH).

2014-04-25-ozoneholepacificcreditMarkusRexAlfredWegenerInstituteccr222.jpg

Maps showing the ozone hole, the associated OH hole, and the updraft area that now is pushing pollutants high up into the stratosphere. Credit: Markus Rex, Alfred Wegener Institute via Climate Central.

These gas radicals “scrub” manmade pollutants, such as ozone-destroying compounds, out of the air by binding to them. This beneficial “OH shield” exists over most of the planet with the ozone shield, which keeps harmful UV radiation from hitting Earth’s surface.

2014-04-25-thunderstormtropicalPacificcredMarkusRexAlfredWegenerInstituteccr222.jpg
In tropical West Pacific thunderstorms, air masses and their pollutants are quickly hurled up. On the way, hydroxyl (OH) molecules normally “scrub” pollutants from the air before it reaches the stratosphere, where they can spread around the globe and last far longer than down below. But now, a new ozone hole is allowing those pollutants to spread high up. Credit: Markus Rex, Alfred Wegener Institute, via Climate Central.

The hole sits over an updraft area, so pollutants are pushed with the warm air above our atmospheric envelope of weather and breathable air into the stratosphere, where they can exist for years and get distributed around the planet.

What does this new break in the ozone shield mean, and what is the effect of having these pollutants, including more greenhouse gases, spreading out way above our planet? Stay tuned, folks – we just don’t know yet…

Join the swelling numbers of voters TELLING Congress they’ll vote for Clean Energy candidates here. This is an ongoing campaign (the next Congressional election is this year!) so please, spread the word. It’s our way of telling Congress that a strong clean energy voting bloc is out there. This is how YOU can make a difference.

For more on Climate Change, check out my weekly column at the HuffingtonPost, Climate Change This Week

Find this interesting? Please re-post it!

Advertisements

About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s