Ozone Layer

A Massive Hole in the Ozone Layer? Drastic Consequences to Bear!


Look! Look!! Look!!!

The ozone layer has a huge hole! Was it there right from the time scientists discovered something called “ozone layer”? Of Course not! As per them, this is a recently developed hole! It is big to the extent of covering the world’s tropical region! Plus, this hole comes across as a year-round gap in the earth’s atmosphere! As of now, it’s estimated that it’s close to 7 times size of a known hole opening every year above “The Antarctic”.

Nevertheless, it seems as if this hole is not meant to close up. This Antarctic hole does open only at the time of spring. But Professor Qing-Bin Lu from the University of Waterloo in Ontario (Canada) has gone on records to state that as per research the new-fangled hole has stayed open for more than 3 decades!

Now that the hole has been discovered, it is being looked upon as the matter of grave concern as there is every likelihood of ground-level UV radiation getting increased. The ill-effects would be – increase in risks associated with cataracts and cancer within regions affected by it. Plus, the negative effects caused on health of tropical areas and ecosystem can’t be ignored.

Why did Scientists take so long to find this Hole?

Again, as per Professor Lu, the hole couldn’t get discovered for long as scientists had never thought in that direction. Additionally, the traditional photochemical methods can’t help in detection of these things. On the contrary, Lu’s discovery showcases data corresponding to CRE (cosmic-ray-driven electron) model. As per this model, there are analogous mechanisms that work behind the new hole found in ozone layer, as well as the one that is found over Antarctic.

Initially, it was firmly believed (to the extent of being documented in school syllabi) that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) held the responsibility of ozone layer getting depleted. This discovery of Antarctic ozone hole affirmed this adverse effect of CFCs. The only change over here is that CREs are also found to play an important role herein. Lu and his associates has proposed the possibility of CRE-initiated ozone-depleting mechanism, that too, almost 20 years back.

What does NASA say?

NASA has asserted that both – CFCs and CREs are playing the spoilsport. Lu further stated that polar and tropical ozone holes do play a vital role in regulating and cooling stratospheric temperatures, thereby mirroring formation of 3 “temperature holes” in stratosphere. He ascertains that the findings might prove to be crucial in better understanding the climate change at global level.

Tropics are the regions of globe at the center of globe, inclusive of equator and portions of LATAM, North America, Australia, Asia, and Africa.

Though various governments have banned several harmful chemicals, the damage is already done. The only thing that could be done now is that further depletion should be prevented. The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is doling out various programs in this regard.

So, it’s no more a “Wait and Watch Situation”. The people need to be wary of the disadvantages and act accordingly.

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