Great loss of the ozone layer over the Arctic Basin

2011-10-04 Great loss of the ozone layer over the Arctic Basin

The loss of the ozone layer over the Arctic Basin has been this year so great that for the first time in the history of observations, we can talk about the emergence of the "ozone hole" similar to theAntarctic.

According to the scientific journal Nature, at altitudes more than 18-20 kilometers the ozone loss made about 80%.

Authors of the publication assume, that the likely cause of this phenomenon is an unusual long preservation of relatively low temperatures in the stratosphere at these latitudes. Such conditions lead to the formation of active chlorine compounds in the upper atmosphere. They are the main "fighters" of ozone. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change at the UN, since 1979 has been a gradual cooling of the stratosphere.

According to the group of researchers who have studied this phenomenon for three years, currently it is impossible to predict the course.
The first information on the extent of Arctic ozone loss have been published in April, but in a new article for the first time is given the complete analysis of the data.

"Winter in the stratosphere over the Arctic is known for extremely changeable weather, some winters are cold, while others - warm, - said Michelle Santee from the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. - However in recent years, winters became colder. We can assume that this trend will continue, and in the atmosphere will occur high levels of chlorine compounds, strong reduction of the ozone layer can not be avoided."

These compounds of active chlorine, according to current conceptions of scientists, enter the atmosphere with ftorhlor and ftorbromfreons that are commonly used in refrigeration systems and fire extinguishers. Their devastating impact on the ozone layer was first discovered and studied in the Antarctic where the ozone hole appears every year.

The use of freons has been restricted and then banned completely by the Montreal Protocol, which came into force in 1987, and then reinforced by other international agreements. The weakening of the ozone layer increases the flux of ultraviolet radiation and causes the rise in the number of skin cancers. Also, elevated levels of radiation affect plants and animals.