New report suggests summer storms could create new ozone holes as Earth warms

July 27, 2012CLIMATESummer storms may create new holes in our protective ozone layer as Earth heats up—bringing increased solar ultraviolet radiation to densely populated areas, a new study says. What’s more, if more sunlight reaches Earth, skin cancer could become the new marquee risk of global warming. As the planet warms, some studies have suggested summer storms may become more frequent and intense. This would send more water vapor—a potent greenhouse gas—into the stratosphere, the middle layer of Earth’s atmosphere, which sits between 9 and 22 miles (14 and 35 kilometers) above Earth’s surface. In a recent series of research flights over the United States, Harvard University atmospheric chemist James Anderson and colleagues found that summer storms often loft water vapor into the stratosphere. “It was an unequivocal observation,’ he said. “We had a number of flights, and this was an abiding feature” of the storms. Under the right conditions, this water vapor could trigger chemical reactions that deplete the ozone layer, which prevents harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching Earth’s surface, the study says. Even small reductions in the ozone layer can make people more susceptible to skin cancer and eye damage, experts say. The finding concerned Anderson, whose research in the 1980s and ‘90s played a pivotal role in establishing the Montreal Protocol. The international treaty phased out the production of ozone-depleting chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were found in a variety of products, including hairsprays and refrigerators. CFCs produce a form of chlorine that degrades ozone particles in the stratosphere, most significantly over the Arctic and Antarctic. Subsequent studies in the Arctic and in the laboratory revealed that both temperature and water vapor concentrations are crucial in a chemical reaction that makes chlorine attack ozone. Now, the new observations over the United States suggest summer storms create the same combination of temperature and water vapor conditions at mid-latitudes. “We essentially have the chemistry that’s present in the Arctic that is clearly very potent for destroying ozone,” Anderson said. The findings, published today in the journal Science, calculate ozone loss at a rate between 4 and 6 percent per day in water vapor-rich areas of the stratosphere. The effect could persist for several weeks after a storm, he added. What worries Anderson most is where and when this phenomenon appears to occur. “It is not ozone loss in Antarctica and the Arctic under winter conditions. It is an attack on the ozone layer in the summer over populated regions of the Northern Hemisphere,” he said. –National Geographic
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15 Responses to New report suggests summer storms could create new ozone holes as Earth warms

  1. kristoffer94 says:

    I guess that it will be a lot common here in Norway
    The weather is just getting worse here, also the temperature is sinking here
    We have had bad weather for nearly 2 weeks now, no sign for sun
    it has been hail and snow in the southern parts of Norway

    this is just a little off-topic, but are we near that it can start a new ice age?
    the reports also are that the path to the low pressures have changed it course
    can this be a sign, that maybe we can be in front of a new cooling period?


    • Dennis E. says:

      Yes, read Richard’s comments and I believe that we can see a cooling period and as unstable as the weather is I believe it will happen. I have read about such a possibility.


  2. gman4721 says:

    I never believed a moleculerly heavy CFC molecule ever had a chance to “float” up into the upper atmosphere to cause the supposed ozone damage.If you could ask any dead service tech who walked into a mechanical room full of CFC gases he would tell you CFC’s are heavier than air.Now, ice crystals are supposed to be doing the same kind of damage to ozone? What’s the motivation behind this junk science?What kind of crisis are they trying to create this time? In the stratosphere it ain’t water vapor,folks,it’s ice.Also take into account that lightening produces a lot of ozone so it seems to me that if what has been stated is true then the ozone depletion/creation offset each other.


    • Joseph t. Repas says:

      Hi gman4721 ! You are basically correct, although ice crystals evaporate into water vapor as well but that is ok… It’s the way God made it. You are also correct about thunderstorms producing ozone which is what I was about to write on until I saw your post. Isn’t it ironic that scientists who want to play god and be the planet hero will go so far to stop CFC ‘s but do nothing regarding the stopping of aircraft from flying[ and therefore spewing out watervapor [ contrails] and jet fuel exhaust] over arctic regions to make a short cut path to the other side of the world?


    • I agree with you. Summer storms have been around forever. If this were true, we’d all be dead by now! Anything to scare us into obedience.


  3. Emanni says:

    This is *really* not good.

    As you’ve identified in your book and on your blog Alvin.

    October 2011
    Hole in ozone over northern hemisphere in 2011 largest ever seen


    • Daniel Hughes says:

      And the blame for this, at least according to Dr. Bill Deagle, is Fukushima radiation. Look at these hopeless numbers and make up your own mind:
      “A recent study was prepared for Greenpeace Germany by international nuclear safety expert Dr. Helmut Hirsch. Dr. Hirsch’s assessment, based on data published by the French government’s radiation protection agency (IRSN) and the Austrian government’s Central Institute for Meteorology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) found that the total amount of unstable radionuclides Iodine-131 and Caesium-137 released between March 11 and March 23 has been so high that the Fukushima crisis already equates to three INES 7 incidents.
      Release of radiation from the stricken reactors has reached 10,000 teraBequerels (10,000 trillion Bequerels) per hour, measured for radioactive Iodine-131.”
      “The uranium bomb which the United States dropped on Hiroshima at the end of World War II released 89 tera becquerels. It killed 140,000 people – many instantly, others within weeks of the blast as they succumbed to severe radiation burns.”

      So, a rough estimate is that Fukushima is spewing the equivalent of 112 Hiroshima-type nuclear bombs worth of radiation every hour, of every day.

      That’s 981,120 atomic bombs a year going off worth of radiation into our biosphere.

      bomb’s worth of radiation yearly.


      • Daniel Hughes says:

        Hope that isn’t too long of a post, Alvin. I meant to say also that blaming summer storms for ozone holes in light of the above information seems to me like desperate rationalizing to keep the biggest disaster we face hidden from the sheeple.


      • Nu says:

        So, where are all the casualties. Haven’t heard of any mass deaths in Japan or the US. If all this radiation is so deadly and abundant, why aren’t we all dead. I don’t know what to think or believe any more


  4. John says:

    Prepping for all of these scenarios is really getting complicated.


  5. Richard says:

    “As the planet warms…” Mmmm. According to astrophysicists Dr Willie Soon and Piers Corbyn, the author, Robert Felix, amongst many other dedicated scientists, the planet has cooled for the last ten or so years. So, fair to say, we can put ‘warming’ out of our minds. In fact another mini ice age is being touted amongst scientists who are not being paid by certain people in power with nothing but population control on their minds. Anyway, from my reading I understand that the climate has ‘changed’ since the creation, moving from glacial to interglacial periods and back again, in perfectly natural cycles which include perfectly natural extinction events. Best thing we can concentrate on now, with everything being shaken up good and solid, is our own spiritual growth. Then we will see what REALLY IS and stop being so afraid of everything.


  6. Dennis E. says:

    Well yes, another increased opportunity for skin cancer. I would think twice about getting a suntan now. With holes in the ozone layer, then the sun will feel that much hotter as the sun rays touches the skin? Would feel like fire scorching the skin?
    Just a thought………..


    • Michelle Agee says:

      Weird as it does now scorch your skin within minutes here in Texas. I also have white spots along with my tan, which is not normal, uv damage? Windier and hot, even in Texas terms! Less rain as well. Climate and Solar system wide, our electric flux is out of balance, so will we be as everything is electric, this may explain the increase in shingles we have been seeing, nervous systems are being affected too!


  7. Emanni says:

    Ozone hole UV impacting marine life: study

    ( — Ultraviolet radiation has caused a steep increase in deaths among marine animals and plants, according to an international team including scientists at the Oceans Institute of The University of Western Australia.


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