Feeds

Ozone hole stable, possibly on the mend

Put the giant darning needle away, Ma

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

After last season's bumper ozone hole, this year things look set to be much less dramatic, and scientists even say the hole may have stopped widening.

At a conference in Washington, two of the scientists who first raised the alarm about the hole in the protective atmospheric layer said they were hopeful the hole would heal within 60 years.

The news comes 19 years after an international agreement was signed to phase out the use of CFCs, the chemicals known to have depleted the layer, and just 20 after Dr Susan Solomon and Dr David Hofman published the paper that drew attention to the problem.

"I'm very optimistic that we will have a normal ozone layer sometime, not in my lifetime, but perhaps in yours," Hofman is reported to have said.

The Ozone layer, for anyone who might have missed it, is a protective layer of the atmosphere which absorbs much of the harmful UV from the sun's rays. Its composition does fluctuate naturally during the year, becoming thicker in the summer months and thinner during the winter.

During the southern hemisphere winter the polar vortex keeps the atmospheric mass above the Antarctic continent isolated from exchanges with mid-latitude air. This keeps the air mass above the continent cold, and in the cold and dark, clouds that contain chlorine can form in the polar stratosphere.

Once the spring returns, this chlorine, much of it originating from man-made pollutants like chlorofluorocarbons, disrupts the ozone layer causing the hole we are all now so familiar with. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Voyager 1 now EIGHTEEN LIGHT HOURS from home
Almost 20 BEEELION kilometres from Sol
Ex-Soviet engines fingered after Antares ROCKET launch BLAST
Speculation rife, but Orbital claims it's too early to tell
MEN: For pity's sake SLEEP with LOTS of WOMEN - and avoid Prostate Cancer
And, um, don't sleep with other men. If that's what worries you
Jim Beam me up, Scotty! WHISKY from SPAAACE returns to Earth
They're insured for $1m, before you thirsty folks make plans
ROGUE SAIL BOAT blocks SPACE STATION PODULE blastoff
Er, we think our ISS launch beats your fishing expedition
NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM
'What fun!' exlaims NASA boffin who found the LADEE
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
BAE points electromagnetic projectile at US Army
Railguns for 'Future fighting vehicle'
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.