World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Antarctic Ozone Hole Is Worst Ever Recorded

Antarctic Ozone Hole Is Worst Ever Recorded, UN Reports

New York, Oct 3 2006 12:00PM

This year’s hole in the Antarctic ozone layer is the worst on record, not only matching that of the year 2000 in surface area but registering the largest depletion ever measured of the naturally occurring gas that filters out cancer- and cataract-causing ultraviolet (UV) rays, the United Nations meteorological agency reported today.

“This year’s hole was caused by the continuing presence of peak levels of ozone destroying substances in the atmosphere combined with a particularly cold stratospheric winter,” the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said of the phenomenon, which appears annually at the start of the southern hemisphere spring.

Large holes over the Antarctic are expected to reoccur over the next two decades before a clear decline in size and depth, and the Montreal Protocol and Vienna Convention phasing out ozone-destroying chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons must be adhered to with the utmost vigilance, WMO spokesman Mark Oliver told a news briefing in Geneva.

The agency based its assessments on measurements taken by satellites of the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and European Space Agency (ESA), validated by surface based observations of the WMO Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) ozone network.

NASA instruments showed that on 25 September the area of the hole reached 29.5 million square kilometres, compared to 29.4 million in September 2000. Each agency uses different instruments, giving slightly different values, and according to ESA, the hole reached 28 million square kilometres on 25 September, very close to its maximum for 2000, which peaked at 28.4 million.

The ozone mass deficit in 2006 was measured at 39.8 megatonnes on 1 October, higher than in 2000, which peaked at 39.6 megatonnes on 29 September. Mass deficit is the amount of ozone missing from a vertical column of air compared to a baseline measured many decades earlier before severe ozone depletion appeared.

Scientists have become increasingly aware of possible links between ozone depletion and climate change. Increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will lead to a warmer climate at the Earth’s surface. At altitudes where the ozone layer is found, the same increase is likely to lead to a cooling of the atmosphere, enhancing the chemical reactions that destroy ozone.

At the same time, the amount of water vapour in the stratosphere has been increasing at the rate of about 1 per cent per year. A wetter and colder stratosphere means more polar stratospheric clouds, which is likely to lead to more severe ozone loss in both polar regions.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC