Scientists find 4 new ozone-destroying chemicals in atmosphere

Four new man-made gases are helping deplete the ozone layer, researchers from the University of East Anglia, in England, claim in a new study — the details of which were recently published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

“Our research has shown four gases that were not around in the atmosphere at all until the 1960s which suggests they are man-made,” lead researcher Dr. Johannes said in a news release.

The four gasses are chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) gases, which were invented in 1920s for use in refrigeration and aerosol sprays. These types of gases have been banned globally since 2010, and regulated since the 1980s, but loopholes still exist.

“CFCs are the main cause of the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica,” the researchers write.

Scientists say they’re unsure of where these new gases are coming from. “Possible sources include feedstock chemicals for insecticide production and solvents for cleaning electronic components,” the study’s authors surmise.

The study claims the new chemicals break down very slowly, so even if emissions are curbed, these gases are likely to stick around in Earth’s atmosphere — eating at the ozone — for several decades.

The ozone layer sits in the lower portion of the stratosphere, some 12 to 19 miles above Earth’s surface, and blocks roughly 97 percent of all the sun’s ultra violent rays — rays that could otherwise prove biologically harmful for animal and plant life.

Not so’s you’d notice if you’re making money from their production or use. Of course.

One thought on “Scientists find 4 new ozone-destroying chemicals in atmosphere

  1. Frick&Frack says:

    A team of researchers led by scientists from the University of Michigan discovered that oil and gas operations in the Bakken formation in North Dakota and Montana are contributing 2 percent of airborne ethane detected in the Earth’s atmosphere. Ethane is a chemical component of natural gas is converted by sunlight into ozone when it is released into the atmosphere. (Durango Herald 4/29/2016) http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20160429/NEWS03/160429507 “Ozone ranks as the third-largest contributor to human-caused global warming after carbon dioxide and methane.
    The study was launched after a mountaintop sensor in the European Alps began registering surprising spikes in ethane concentrations in the atmosphere starting in 2010, following decades of declines. The increase, which has continued over the last five years, was noted at the same time new horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques were fueling a boom of oil and gas production from previously inaccessible shale rock formations in the United States.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.