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 9, NUMBER 12, DECEMBER 1996
depletion over Antarctica set in early and rapidly this year,
seeming to fulfill a prediction that it would break all records.
A brief note in Nature (p. 129, Sep. 12, 1996), by
atmospheric chemist David Hoffmann of NOAA, predicted that this
year's depletion would be especially severe because of the
influence of an alternate-year fluctuation in stratospheric
winds, known as the quasi-biennial oscillation. Observed ozone
loss was unusually rapid in August, breaking records in some
Antarctic locations for low values so early in the Southern
Hemisphere spring. However, in the first week of September, wind
patterns started to distort and weaken the polar vortex,
hindering ozone destruction. The lowest level of total ozone
recorded by a NASA satellite this year was 111 Dobson Units,
compared to the record low of 88 Dobson Units measured in 1994.
(See New Scientist, p. 6, Sep. 28, 1996, and p. 6, Oct.
12; Science News, p. 246, Oct. 19; Global Environ.
Change Rep., p. 5, Nov. 8.)
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