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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 3, NUMBER 5, MAY 1990

NEWS...
ARCTIC OZONE RESULTS ARE IN


Item #d90may63

Final analysis of data collected in the Airborne Arctic Stratospheric Expedition, during January and February of 1989, is complete and has been published as a collection of papers in a special issue of Geophysical Research Letters (Vol. 17, No. 4, 1990). Results provide strong evidence that the same chemical and physical processes involving anthropogenic chlorofluorocarbons that were found to account for the Antarctic ozone hole also operate in the Northern Hemisphere's polar stratosphere. These processes are most efficient when the air is very cold in the presence of sunlight. No drastic loss of Arctic ozone has yet been detected because the Arctic stratosphere does not get as cold as the Antarctic and the cold air tends to warm rapidly as daylight returns in spring. However, the expedition found ozone losses of 10-20 percent from destruction by chlorine compounds, and an unusually cold Arctic winter could lead to much greater ozone depletion.

For further discussion of the findings see Chem. Eng. News, pp. 22-23, Mar. 19, 1990; Science, p. 1297, Mar. 16; New Scientist, p. 23, Apr. 14; Science News, p. 183, Mar. 24; Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 145, Apr.

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