Feeds

Ozone hole stable, possibly on the mend

Put the giant darning needle away, Ma

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.