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Ozone recovering but will take longer over poles

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The ozone layer that shields life from the sun’s harmful rays is projected to recover from harmful chemicals by mid-century, but it will take longer over the polar regions, a United Nations study said today.

Ozone depletion — blamed for higher ultraviolet radiation that causes skin cancers and cataracts and damages agriculture — will continue for decades as several key damaging substances stay in the atmosphere for a long time after emissions end.

While many cooling agents or other compounds harmful to the ozone are no longer being produced or emitted, some of their industrial replacements are greenhouses gases that contribute much more to global warming, the report said.

“The ozone has bottomed out. It is no longer really decreasing. But there is also no real sign yet of an increase in ozone,” Geir Braathen, senior scientific officer at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), told a news briefing.

“We still believe that the ozone layer, at least in mid-latitudes, will be repaired by around 2050,” he said.

The ozone hole which forms over the Antarctic every springtime is only expected to return to the pre-1980 benchmark values in the late 21st century, the report said. High levels of ultraviolet rays are detected when it is large…

While chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) once used in refrigerators, spray cans and other appliances have been phased out, demand for substitutes such as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) has risen, according to the study by the WMO and the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP)…

The report by 300 scientists credited the 1987 Montreal Protocol signed by some 200 countries with stopping additional ozone loss and helping to mitigate the greenhouse effect.

Between whining auto mechanics and whining HVAC contractors, you would have thought the world was coming to an end in 1987.

They moved on to substitutes and the real cheapskates went to Mexico to bootleg their preferred poison.

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Written by Ed Campbell

September 16, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Business, Earth, Science

Tagged with , , , , , ,

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