The Ozone Hole - 7 October 2015
NASA Ozone Hole Watch http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov
Just back from a visit to Perth, Western Australia for the United Nations Environment Programme Environmental Effects Assessment Panel (UNEP-EEAP). While we were there someone asked if the ozone hole was still there. The answer is very much so. It is predicted to recover by about 2060, but here is what it looked like last week and you can see all of Antarctica beneath it. So as we think about the Paris meeting and what we should do with greenhouse gases it is a useful reminder that we can act together and change things. In the 1980s we regulated CFC and other Ozone Depleting Substances. BUT once you mess with Earth's climate it takes a while to fix. So we need to get on with it.
We spent a busy week reading and synthesising papers published in the last year on the effects of ozone depletion and UV radiation on terrestrial and marine ecosystems, human health, the atmosphere, materials - pretty much everything really. These will be published next year but you can read the last report from our panel and also the Scientific Assessment panel here.
Plus if you want to see how the ozone hole compares to other years see NASAs Ozone Hole Watch page. This year it was late to develop but now it is pretty big.