February 28, 2007
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A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 2, NUMBER 4, APRIL 1989
ARCTIC OZONE EXPEDITION
Scientists were surprised by data from this
winter's Airborne Arctic Stratospheric Experiment that show levels of chlorine
monoxide much higher than predicted by theory, indicating the Arctic
stratosphere is ripe for the same kind of ozone depletion observed in the
Antarctic. The observations were made using two instrumented aircraft based in
Stavanger, Norway and involved scientists and support from the United States,
Britain, Norway and the Chemical Manufacturers Association. The presence of
chlorine monoxide indicates the apparent role of polar stratospheric clouds in
ozone destruction by chlorofluorocarbons. Reduced ozone levels were not
observed, but ozone measurements from balloon- and satellite-borne instruments
are being watched as the lengthening daylight hours increase the amount of
sunlight necessary for the reactions to occur. Scientists are reluctant to
conclude that this process accounts for the wintertime ozone depletion reported
for the northern hemisphere last March by the International Ozone Trends Panel.
However, Robert Watson, project director for the U.S. National Aeronautics and
Space Administration, said the results indicate that the requirements of the
Montreal Protocol should be strengthened. For more details see the following:
"Arctic Ozone Loss: Fact-Finding Mission Concludes Outlook is Bleak,"
P.M. Zurer, Chem. Eng. News, 29-31, Mar. 6, 1989. Includes details
concerning stratospheric cloud types.
"Scientists Find Arctic May Face Ozone Hole," ibid., 5-6.
Mission scientists testified before a U.S. Senate committee that a sudden
appearance of an Arctic ozone hole can't be ruled out.
"Arctic Ozone Ripe for Depletion," Eos, p. 131, Feb. 29.
"Arctic Ozone Is Poised for a Fall," R.A. Kerr, Science,
1007-1008, Feb. 24. Concludes strengthening of the Protocol seems inevitable.
"Arctic Air Primed to Destroy Ozone," R. Monastersky, Sci.
News, p. 116, Feb. 25.
"Is There an Ozone Hole Over the North Pole?" F. Pearce, I.
Anderson, New Sci., 32-33, Feb. 25. Also describes independent results
just announced by Canadian and U.S. scientists who detected polar stratospheric
clouds from balloon measurements, as well as an area of decreased ozone
considered unrelated to chemical depletion.
"Investigation of Ozone Hole in Arctic Begun by Team of Scientists,
Technicians," Intl. Environ. Rptr., 55-57, Feb.
"Arctic Hole Eludes Ozone Investigators," R. Milne, New Sci.,
p. 24, Jan. 21. Gives details of early expedition difficulties.
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