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(Denver Post)   Sudden ozone decline forces scientists to admit they don't understand ozone depletion   (denverpost.com) divider line 83
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10408 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Mar 2005 at 7:51 PM (9 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2005-03-02 03:48:32 PM
RTFA before you write the headline. Admittedly, the article writer was cutting a few corners. But ozone depletion is well understood. The weather, on the other hand (which has a big effect on ozone distribution), is difficult to predict, as everyone knows. Different kettle of fish entirely.
 
2005-03-02 04:07:14 PM
Nice try, submitter, but even the tobacco scientist types don't even try to dispute CFCs' effects on the ozone layer.

Solar storms (which are a far cry from ordinary sunlight) can destroy ozone. Various oxides of hydrogen and nitrogen form in the upper atmosphere as a result of intense radiation. These oxides, while usually short-lived, can be pushed deeper into our atmosphere and cause ozone loss in the middle mesosphere.
 
2005-03-02 04:36:01 PM
What the article doesn't get into, is that the ozone is like a layer of oil on top of water. Not in the chemical sense, but in respect to how it flows around. It is susceptible to weather, wind, gravity, etc., and isn't always in the same place at the same time. There are ebbs and flows. So if one day there is less ozone in one place, there might be more in another. This makes it hard to get a feel for true loss of "total ozone" across the whole planet, let alone make any predictions.

lucidity:
...even the tobacco scientist types don't even try to dispute CFCs' effects on the ozone layer.

While it's a fact that CFCs break apart ozone, I don't know if it's clear yet what kind of global effect they're having.
 
2005-03-02 04:41:53 PM
Well, scientists don't completely understand anything, really. They've often got very good approximations and models of what's going on, but if we completely understood anything, there would be a "theory of everything" and I'd be out of a job.

Saying that the scientists were "forced to admit they don't completely understand something" implies that they lied and said that they said they completely understood it in the first place.
 
2005-03-02 04:49:10 PM
iollow:

While it's a fact that CFCs break apart ozone, I don't know if it's clear yet what kind of global effect they're having.

I would disagree, and I think most atmospheric scientists would too - CFCs are stable until they hit the upper atmosphere, when UV radiation breaks them down. Then the florine and the chlorine free radicals rip apart ozone and are themselves left intact to keep destroying ozone.

The problem with CFCs is that they are too stable - if they broke down before making it into the stratosphere, they wouldn't have such an effect (or any effect, really) on ozone.
 
2005-03-02 04:49:49 PM
So ozone depletion is hearsay?
Well SCREW the EPA, I daresay!
Will we now see Big Macs
Back in Styrofoam stacks?
Forget all this crap! Pass the hair spray!
 
2005-03-02 04:52:59 PM
See, this is why I like TotalFark. I can come in here right now and read an interesting, informed discussion on the topic. But I guarantee you as soon as this hits the main page, two dozen trolls will leap on this thread without RTFA, and post some variation of "OMG SEE MORE LIES OF TEH LIBRUL MEDIA EXPOSED!!1!oneeleven!", and productive conversation will cease.
 
2005-03-02 05:09:55 PM
First person to mention Rush Limbaugh gets a swift ISP kick to the nuts.
 
2005-03-02 05:10:32 PM
iollow

While it's a fact that CFCs break apart ozone, I don't know if it's clear yet what kind of global effect they're having.

It depends what you mean by "global effect".

We do know that anthropic CFC's are causing ozone depletion in the stratosphere.

What's less certain is the rate of depletion. The "ozone hole" occurs because conditions in that region and at that time are ideal for an accelerated rate in the chemical reaction that eats up ozone. What is not understood very well is the processes which control the conditions (temperature, water vapor concentration, etc.) in these regions and lead to the conditions that set up the "hole".

The reason that I keep emphasizing the word "rate" is that the rate of depletion is in some ways, completely irrelevant. These molecules have very long lifetimes (64 yrs and 108 yrs for the most potent/abundant varieties of CFC's) in the stratosphere. So for the most part, they're going to hang around until they destroy some ozone, regardless of how long they have to wait for it.

some good references:

Levi, B. G. 1992. Arctic measurements indicate the chilly prospect of ozone depletion. Physics Today 45 (7): 17-19

Solomon, S., Progress towards a Quantitative Understanding of Antarctic Ozone Depletion, Nature 1990, 347, 347-354.

Zurer, Studies on Ozone Destruction Expand Beyond Antarctic, 66 C & EN No.
22, p. 16 (1988).
 
2005-03-02 05:20:16 PM
I bow to Forty-Three's far superior knowledge of atmospheric chemistry.
 
2005-03-02 05:33:27 PM
lucidity

Thanks, but I'm actually a physicist by trade, not a chemist.

I do like to think that it's all physics and that chemistry is just a sub-field of the one, true, all-encompassing science. That tends to get my chemist friends a little annoyed though, so I usually keep that opinion to myself.
 
2005-03-02 05:48:23 PM
Forty-Three:

I do like to think that it's all physics and that chemistry is just a sub-field of the one, true, all-encompassing science.

I always felt that way, back in my chemist days, but the physicists and the chemists liked to have pissing matches for some reason. I mean, really, what use is being the second-least-picked-on kid on the playground?
 
2005-03-02 06:10:40 PM
lucidity

I mean, really, what use is being the second-least-picked-on kid on the playground?

Hahah. So true, when in reality they should be joining forces to build the doomsday weather control device that will allow them to completely dominate those fools and their silly little playground.

*maniacal laughter*
 
2005-03-02 06:33:56 PM
Forty-Three:

Thanks for the references. I never really appreciate how the ozone holes form at a restricted high latitude. While part of the mechanism is still unclear to me (chemical distribution, mostly), the nature paper describes the requisite conditions (low temperature, the presence of PSCs, availability of Chlorine and nitric acids, and sunlight, etc) quite nicely.

Just to make it easier for others to read, here is the Nature reference:

Solomon, Nature (1990)


and here is a novice version of it in a Web form (which is pretty close to what the Nature article is trying to convey):

Ozone Hole Tour
 
2005-03-02 07:11:18 PM
Great, now all we need is to fire up about a million of those Ionic Breeze things and we'll be ok right?
 
2005-03-02 07:54:58 PM
Everyone knows that ozone isn't real.
 
2005-03-02 08:02:03 PM
Asshats who didnt RTFA in 3...2...1...
 
2005-03-02 08:02:35 PM
Wow, references and everything! Forty-Three will be banned!
 
2005-03-02 08:02:43 PM
Forty-Three:

Hahah. So true, when in reality they should be joining forces to build the doomsday weather control device that will allow them to completely dominate those fools and their silly little playground.

*maniacal laughter*


"Hello?... Ah... I can't hear too well. Do you suppose you could turn the music down just a little?... Oh-ho, that's much better... yeah... huh... yes... Fine, I can hear you now, Dmitri... Clear and plain and coming through fine... I'm coming through fine, too, eh?... Good, then... well, then, as you say, we're both coming through fine... Good... Well, it's good that you're fine and... and I'm fine... I agree with you, it's great to be fine... a-ha-ha-ha-ha... Now then, Dmitri, you know how we've always talked about the possibility of something going wrong with the Bomb... The *Bomb*, Dmitri... The *hydrogen* bomb!"

/first thing that came to mind upon reading "doomsday ... device."
 
2005-03-02 08:03:39 PM
schief2 is a troll and he doesn't even realize it. Now that's kind of funny.

/right?
 
2005-03-02 08:04:48 PM
OMG SEE MORE LIES OF TEH LIBRUL MEDIA EXPOSED!!1!oneeleven!

/sorry
/did RTFA
 
2005-03-02 08:04:58 PM
To me, the most disturbing part of the whole article was the fact that it was -110F! BRRRR. Well, it's better than -110C.
 
2005-03-02 08:05:28 PM
more of the "we don't know 100% about something then we know nothing" anti-science. OMG we don't understand how gravity works so don't get on an airplane!!!! At any moment gravity could change and you could fall!!!!!

I wish these people would learn more about science and that we don't know 100% about anything. But that doesn't mean the facts we do have arn't useful. They are just grumpy that the scientific model recently done showed that the only possible explanation of global warming happening now is because of human contribution.

Oh wait I forget global warming could be happening now because of invisible volcanos.
 
2005-03-02 08:06:24 PM
no crazies yet?
 
2005-03-02 08:07:18 PM
It's not really going down! Thats the talk of liberal scientists out to brainwash you! Those partisan bastards, the ozone really went in a triangle, so it grew!



99299292992 BC -----------------------> 2020 A.D.
 
2005-03-02 08:07:31 PM
BillCosby: no crazies yet?

I'll be honest - I have this open in a tab, waiting for the crazies.
 
2005-03-02 08:12:05 PM
they understand it more than conservative boneheads who get their science from limbaugh and hannity, both men whom couldn't complete a single year of college.
 
2005-03-02 08:12:49 PM
I'll tell you what's really happening. THERE IS NO OZONE LAYER! its all a scam set up by the secret world power. They control all governments and you are their playthings!
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2005-03-02 08:15:08 PM
Part of the decline is attributed to cold, a long-known companion of Antarctic ozone loss.
 
2005-03-02 08:17:19 PM
ZAZ: Part of the decline is attributed to cold, a long-known companion of Antarctic ozone loss.

I believe it's actually the cold that makes the effect of the chlorine and the florine stronger, in that it creates ice clouds of chlorine and florine that allow them to stick around longer and really eat up some ozone.
 
2005-03-02 08:17:45 PM
Fine if no right wingers will give there normal arguments I guess I will for them.

Not 100% of all scientist say this is true.

The sun does this too. So what you are saying is that we should destroy the sun!

Bill Clinton got a blow job.

There I think I covered all of them.
 
2005-03-02 08:31:30 PM
Actually it's all those frickin weather ballons that are doing it....
 
2005-03-02 08:33:58 PM
Is it too hard to imagine that shifting magnetic poles and solar flares would result in accelerated ozone loss?
 
2005-03-02 08:34:51 PM
I got high off some ozone I got at a rave.

If we keep raving all the ozone away like that there will be none left.

I feel so irresponsible.
 
2005-03-02 08:35:37 PM
Sheesh, you guys seem upset that the ditto heads didn't come make fools of themselves. Don't worry, they'll get their chance on a future story. For now, you should just be grateful that even that bunch of goons knows when to keep their mouths shut.
 
2005-03-02 08:40:18 PM
the minute I read the headline, I thought, "wow, I bet something was taken out of context there." lo and behold, I read the article and I was right.
 
2005-03-02 08:49:13 PM
How can we amend this admission that scientist were wrong about evolution and the war on terrorism and the US economy?
 
2005-03-02 08:51:42 PM
Why is it that low-level ozone doesn't seem to make its way up to the ozone "layer", whereas CFCs do? Do CFCs know something that low-level ozone doesn't?
 
2005-03-02 08:55:09 PM
2005-03-02 03:48:32 PM zorgon [TotalFark]

RTFA before you write the headline. Admittedly, the article writer was cutting a few corners. But ozone depletion is well understood. The weather, on the other hand (which has a big effect on ozone distribution), is difficult to predict, as everyone knows. Different kettle of fish entirely.


From the claimed-to-be-unread article: "The two unusual findings have experts worried that they don't fully understand the dynamics of ozone depletion."

Seems to me someone didn't read the article all right...
 
2005-03-02 08:56:58 PM
On behalf of the conservatives, we are not responding for one simple reason.

:)

It is actually fun every now and then to watch you flaming lefties sit and stew in your own juices. What is interesting to me is the sense of loss some of you display. Whereas when we do not have you around to argue with, we don't care (what with having lives and all that).

/tosses a bone to the starving pack of liberals out of kindness
 
2005-03-02 08:57:32 PM
Brockway - CFCs are less dense than the components in the air.

http://www.theozonehole.com/atmosphere.htm
 
2005-03-02 08:58:18 PM
Why is it that low-level ozone doesn't seem to make its way up to the ozone "layer", whereas CFCs do? Do CFCs know something that low-level ozone doesn't?

in the industry they like to call low-level ozone "remidial ozone" so as not to hurt its feelings.
 
2005-03-02 09:05:47 PM
Apparently to Andrael, people discussing science = flaming liberals.
 
2005-03-02 09:06:29 PM
Andrael: I'll make it simple: You are not smart.
 
2005-03-02 09:09:33 PM
2005-03-02 08:35:37 PM Dil Doe

Sheesh, you guys seem upset that the ditto heads didn't come make fools of themselves. Don't worry, they'll get their chance on a future story. For now, you should just be grateful that even that bunch of goons knows when to keep their mouths shut.


Good theory :) I suspect they just don't want to read such a complicated sciency article.

2005-03-02 08:56:58 PM Andrael

On behalf of the conservatives, we are not responding for one simple reason.

:)

It is actually fun every now and then to watch you flaming lefties sit and stew in your own juices. What is interesting to me is the sense of loss some of you display. Whereas when we do not have you around to argue with, we don't care (what with having lives and all that).


Leave it to the one conservative around here with half a brain to screw up the good theory :(
 
2005-03-02 09:11:20 PM
Andrael

On behalf of the conservatives, we are not responding for one simple reason.

:)

It is actually fun every now and then to watch you flaming lefties sit and stew in your own juices. What is interesting to me is the sense of loss some of you display. Whereas when we do not have you around to argue with, we don't care (what with having lives and all that).


Plus you usually get disoriented when presented with facts and logic.

/teeheehee :*>
 
2005-03-02 09:11:47 PM
2005-03-02 09:05:47 PM Doggie McNugget

Apparently to Andrael, people discussing science = flaming liberals.

2005-03-02 09:06:29 PM Gabbo is Fabbo [TotalFark]

Andrael: I'll make it simple: You are not smart.


While I don't care for his smug tone, he was bang on about the "sense of loss", guys. Admit it, we all get so much entertainment out of a good flame war. Except Bevets, who prefers to post twice, then go masturbate to "Corinthians".
 
2005-03-02 09:12:56 PM
... not that Bevets is liberal in the slightest, but I think EVERYONE here enjoys The Fight.
 
2005-03-02 09:16:31 PM
No Such Agency: Except Bevets, who prefers to post twice, then go masturbate to "Corinthians"

That was just too beautiful for words.
 
2005-03-02 09:25:40 PM
moops:

Brockway - CFCs are less dense than the components in the air.


Then why doesn't the low-level ozone get up there?
 
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