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NASA Announces Record Ozone Hole

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the we-need-a-really-big-patch dept.

190

Drewsk writes "NASA has announced that the ozone hole over the Antarctic has broken all records. From the story: 'From September 21 to 30, the average area of the ozone hole was the largest ever observed, at 10.6 million square miles,' said Paul Newman, atmospheric scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. If the stratospheric weather conditions had been normal, the ozone hole would be expected to reach a size of about 8.9 to 9.3 million square miles, about the surface area of North America.""

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190 comments

Was Wondering... (1, Interesting)

jazman_777 (44742) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526055)

Not long ago I was wondering, "whatever happened to the ozone hole?" It seemed that Global Warming had taken over as the looming apocalypse. So the obsoleting of Freon hasn't helped?

Re:Was Wondering... (4, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526097)

It had shrunk, up until this time, I was under the (obviously mistaken) impression that it had stayed shrunk.

I'm not a big jumping to conclusions kind of person, but there are signifigant environmental impacts on the creation of new upper atmospheric ozone as well. I think, although I could be wrong, that most atmospheric ozone is created by lightning causing chemical reactions. There could be some relationship there that's gone unaddressed. Regardless, this is hardly good news to hear.

Where the ozone comes from (5, Informative)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526217)

The ozone we're concerned about here is formed by solar ultraviolet in the stratosphere. Almost all thunderstorm activity is in the troposphere. The ozone that thunderstorms and photochemical smog produce only lasts a few weeks.

Now, if you want to get confused, CFCs are both catalysts of ozone breakdown and greenhouse gases. To make you even more confused, upper tropospheric ozone is a greenhouse gas, not as important as CO2 but worth taking into account.

Re:Was Wondering... (1)

jesterzog (189797) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526477)

It had shrunk, up until this time, I was under the (obviously mistaken) impression that it had stayed shrunk.

I heard it mentioned on the radio this morning that the ozone hole had been measured as the biggest ever so far. Confusingly, an interviewed scientist was also commenting that people shouldn't panic, because it was on a downward trend and was still expected to heal itself over the next so many decades. I'm not quite sure exactly what was meant, because under most circumstances I wouldn't intuitively consider a "largest ever recorded value" to play any part in a measured downward trend. It's possible that people in the know have other reasons to believe that it's still likely to go away, however.

Re:Was Wondering... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526689)

Confusingly, an interviewed scientist was also commenting that people shouldn't panic, because it was on a downward trend and was still expected to heal itself over the next so many decades. I'm not quite sure exactly what was meant, because under most circumstances I wouldn't intuitively consider a "largest ever recorded value" to play any part in a measured downward trend.

There are two possibilities that don't defy logic:
  • The depletion of the ozone is increasing but the rate of increase is decreasing. Logically there will eventually be a point at which the depletion rate reaches a zero value and then goes negative resulting in a regeneration of the ozone layer.
  • The record size hole was a statistical anomaly in data that showed that over a period of many years that the ozone layer is rebuilding. As long as the value of the statistical anomaly doesn't fall further than say 2.5 times the standard deviation from the curve fit, then it could have been just due to random error. And if it wasn't then the error would be systematic error but could probably be explained by changing climate conditions (such as Antarctica being colder than normal).

Re:Was Wondering... (0, Offtopic)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527585)

It had shrunk, up until this time, I was under the (obviously mistaken) impression that it had stayed shrunk.

      Just like a penis. Just because it shrank doesn't mean it won't grow again, given time and the right conditions. Cold showers don't do permanent damage.

Re:Was Wondering... (4, Informative)

omegashenron (942375) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526177)

The article states the following:
"these ozone-depleting substances typically have very long lifetimes in the atmosphere (more than 40 years).

Obsoleting Freon has helped, however it will take tens of years for the existing CFC/HFC/HCFC's etc gas levels to drop to acceptable concentrations.

Re:Was Wondering... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526337)

It seemed that Global Warming had taken over as the looming apocalypse. So the obsoleting of Freon hasn't helped?

Let me guess. You work for Fox Media and are now trying to show a connection between things that have no connection?

In fact, I would say that they have the same connection as the Iraq War has to the invasion of panama. Similar payers, but nothing else.

Re:Was Wondering... (0, Redundant)

Alioth (221270) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526459)

Obsoleting CFCs (not just Freon) has helped, but it will take decades - CFCs linger for an awfully long time, depleting ozone for an awfully long time.

It never went away (5, Informative)

astro-g (548659) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526583)

certainly not for those of us who have to live under it.

I live in New Zealand, the current position and shape of the ozone hole is a regular feature of TV weather reports.

Re:Was Wondering... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526767)

The real problem is a hundred years of devices using freon rotting in dumps worldwide. There were projections of it rising for a number of decades before it started to drop perminately. Actual recovery will take a couple of hundred years. Recycling of the devices would help but most of the world isn't willing to spend the money and even the US has a poor record for recyling old refridgerators and such. Just imagine all the millions of rusting cars leaking freon from old AC units. Most refridgerators in this country don't use freon but there's still some older ones in service and oceans of them in dumps. Add to that old paint spray cans and hair spray cans. Look on the brightside how bad would it have been if we hadn't stopped? Australia and New Zealand might have been covered by the hole by now. I spent some time in New Zealand a half a dozen years ago and skin cancer was common there. People didn't tan they burned. Better to start recovery now than waiting there is no ozone layer and everyone is getting skin cancer. When I was growing up I had never heard of skin cancer. Now I'm one of the few people I know over forty that hasn't had it and I know people in their twenties that have had skin cancer. Teens and children are getting it. It's one of the great unspoken plagues.

Re:Was Wondering... (4, Interesting)

RockModeNick (617483) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527527)

Freon is much more dense than air. Rotting devices in landfills are not getting CFC's into the upper atmosphere. I'd look to substances with significantly more potential to end up there, like jet fuel burnoff, as being the source of ozone troubles.

IT'S ECLIPSED ONLY BY ZONK ANAL GAPAGE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526057)

Now that's a hole!

Sincerely,

Fuck you

Damned if you do..... (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526069)

The temperature of the Antarctic stratosphere causes the severity of the ozone hole to vary from year to year. Colder than average temperatures result in larger and deeper ozone holes, while warmer temperatures lead to smaller ones. So if it's warmer, the ozone hole gets BETTER? It's global warming man!

Re:Damned if you do..... (3, Interesting)

wasted (94866) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526129)

So if it's warmer, the ozone hole gets BETTER? It's global warming man!


If I remember correctly...

Ozone is created by lightning from thunderstorms.

The warmer the surface, in general, the more likely it is that thunderstorms will occur.

Antarctica is the coldest place on earth, therefore it is less likely that thunderstorms will occur in Antarctica, and less ozone will be produced in that area.

Consequently, we can assume that global warming would reduce the size of the ozone hole if that warming could be focused on Antarctica, or was at least proportional.

If anyone knows more than I on this, (yes, I am an old weather forecaster, but if you are sure of your data,) please correct me.

Re:Damned if you do..... (3, Interesting)

thre5her (223254) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526201)

According to Al Gore, a rise of 1 degree at the equator would mean a rise in 12 degrees at the poles. So, it seems that yes, global warming would foster the creation of ozone closer the poles. However, I don't think anyone wants to see more ice shelf fall into the oceans and turning Europe into a giant ice cube.

Re:Damned if you do..... (5, Interesting)

Andrew Kismet (955764) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526249)

Something repeatedly bothers me. We act like global warming caused by humans means the end of days, but surely the earth has undergone far more cataclysmic changes (such as after supervolcanoes), even during the lifespan of humanity, and we've lived to tell the tale?
Perhaps it's just now that we're so widely knowledgeable (if not intelligent) about our world at large, we realise just how many people will be outright fucked over by the coming changes. I'm sure humanity will survive, regardless of what happens. Anyone recall Daisyworld and biodiversity versus adverse conditions from biology class?

Re:Damned if you do..... (3, Funny)

beckerist (985855) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526391)

holy crap, but the fact he just used Al Gore as a reference doesn't bother you?

Re:Damned if you do..... (5, Insightful)

pluther (647209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526455)

We act like global warming caused by humans means the end of days, but surely the earth has undergone far more cataclysmic changes (such as after supervolcanoes), even during the lifespan of humanity, and we've lived to tell the tale?

Some of us have, anyway.

Sure, the earth has seen some big cataclysms in the past, which haven't wiped out all life on the planet. The big ass meteor that made the Yucatan peninsula 65 million years ago only wiped out about 90% of all species.

But even within, as you say, the lifespan of humanity, there've been some major catastrophes, that haven't wiped us out. A couple of ice ages, we weathered through (so to speak). And even more recently, plagues, war, famine, huge volcanic eruptions. Sure the human species have survived. Villages, towns, cities, nations, even entire civilizations have been wiped out, but humans survive.

Mostly, I just don't want to be part of one of the civilizations that gets wiped out.

The same can be said about population pressure. The more people there are, the greater the chance some big disease will come along to take care of the problem, or some asshole pushes the button and nukes us back to the stoneage. Either way, nature will adjust. She's just not as picky as I'd like about her methods.

Re:Damned if you do..... (4, Insightful)

Chas (5144) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526943)

"She's just not as picky as I'd like about her methods."

The problem is, when most people say this, by "discerning" or "picky", they automatically assume that THEY would be part of the population favored by such choice...

Re:Damned if you do..... (5, Insightful)

Da Fokka (94074) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527187)

Something repeatedly bothers me. We act like global warming caused by humans means the end of days, but surely the earth has undergone far more cataclysmic changes (such as after supervolcanoes), even during the lifespan of humanity, and we've lived to tell the tale?


Oh yes, we have survived. But barely. According to the Toba Catastrophe Theory [wikipedia.org] the Lake Toba eruption reduced the total number of human beings to 1000-10000. We also survived the plague, which killed of a third of Europe's population in the middle ages.

But surviving doesn't mean a walk in the park. Yes. We would survive sea levels rising a couple of feet. I live in Holland and we've been fighting the water for centuries. Now, we're more prosperous than ever so we'll be able to build the dykes. But countries like Bangladesh (which floods like every two years already) would be in serious trouble and would not be able to do a thing about it.

Perhaps it's just now that we're so widely knowledgeable (if not intelligent) about our world at large, we realise just how many people will be outright fucked over by the coming changes. I'm sure humanity will survive, regardless of what happens. Anyone recall Daisyworld and biodiversity versus adverse conditions from biology class?



You are right if bare survival is your criterium of success. But I'd prefer to aim a little higher than that.

Oh and of course I am aware that I'm talking about global warming, which has very little to do with the hole in the ozone layer. But the point remains valid.

Wrong. (1)

Kizor (863772) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526707)

You'd really think that people had, by now, learned to think before making obviously reasonable statements.

Citizen: "This supports Bush, right?" [theyesmen.org]
Us: "Well, yes, this is about his administration's approach to global warming--freezing Europe, sinking Japan..."
Citizen: "Where do I sign?"

Re:Damned if you do..... (4, Informative)

Orp (6583) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527505)

My God where did you get your meteorology degree?

Tropospheric ozone is created by many things but is very reactive and does not last long. Lightning does produce ozone in the troposphere as does certain chemical reactions between anthropogenic pollutants.

Stratospheric ozone is created when high-energy ultraviolet light from the sun splits diatomic oxygen (O2) into oxygen atoms (O) which can combine with O2 to create O3. UV also splits O3 into O and O2, and there is constant creation/destruction of O3 in the strasophere. It reaches an eqilibrium which is a function of a bunch of things, but the end result is (a) the creation/destruction of O3 in the stratosphere "absorbs" the most energetic UV from the sun (which is good for life) and (b) this process heats up the stratosphere, making it one big inversion which has the nice side-effect of keeping thunderstorm updrafts from blasting into the mesosphere.

In order to undertsand why there is an ozone "hole" over Antarcitca you have to understand about the dynamics of the atmosphere. Most ozone is actually created in the tropical latitudes and is advected southward/northward via the Hadley Cell circulation. The polar vortex over Antarctica tends to inhibit mixing across its boundary, so stuff that gets in it tends to stay there. Ozone depletion due to CFCs tends to be greatest around this time of year when the Antarctic is entering Spring and the sun is beginning to interact with polar stratospheric clouds which are a major catalyst to the ozone depletion.

Anyone could look this stuff up in a recent undergraduate meteorology textbook. Just about all of the "Mod 5 : informative" posts in this thread are laughingly incorrect.

Same goes to the douche who thinks "CFCs are too heavy to get into the Stratosphere". I'm not going to bother to explain that one to you.

And finally, don't ever mention "global warming" and "ozone hole" in the same sentence as if they are related. They are not.

I wonder why... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526071)

Considering the usa resfuses to abide by this [wikipedia.org]

Re:I wonder why... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526159)

You know the kyoto protocol doesn't have anything to do with ozone, right?

How High is the Ozone Layer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526073)

The summary states that the whole is as large as North America, but what is the area of the ozone layer above North America?

Re:How High is the Ozone Layer? (1, Flamebait)

gomoX (618462) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527059)

Not too different from the area of North America.

I read about this (2, Interesting)

vought (160908) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526099)

four days ago.

Besides all the technical trinkets, is this where science ends up on Slashdot?

Pretty sad, if you ask me - game consoles and .mp3 players get higher billing than planetary changes - on the planet we live on?

Re:I read about this (2, Insightful)

tehSpork (1000190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526111)

Meh, MP3 players and consoles come and go with a rapid speed that requires many news posts to keep track of. I haven't seen a Planet 2.0 with new and improved mineral deposits slated for release yet, my guess is that the project went overbudget and got cancled. :)

Re:I read about this (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526169)

Pretty sad, if you ask me - game consoles and .mp3 players get higher billing than planetary changes - on the planet we live on?


It's because these global warming news are super depressing, anti-american, pro-terrorism and bad for the economy. We should collectively hush-hush these fairy-tales of evident destruction of human kind and just live in four year periods. Now, go back reading console news and smile. Remember - ignorance is strength!

Re:I read about this (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526263)

I for one, am looking forward to our improved sun tanning opportunities. UV kills parasites too. It's win-win here. Ozone layers are over-rated.

Re:I read about this (1)

bruno.fatia (989391) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526567)

We live on Earth, the 3rd planet on the solar system located in the Milky Way

WHAAAAMBULANCE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16527761)

Want some frenchcrys?

Sometimes... (2, Interesting)

God of Lemmings (455435) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526101)

Sometimes I wonder whether or not the ozone hole has always been there and we just noticed the hole one day and thought it was something special. I mean, the Earth is slightly egg shaped, doesn't it kind of make sense for the atmosphere to also not be spherical?

Re:Sometimes... (0, Flamebait)

vought (160908) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526147)

Sometimes I wonder whether or not the ozone hole has always been there and we just noticed the hole one day and thought it was something special.

Sure! Your intuition is far more powerful than 100 years of scien-ma-tific observation.

I mean, the Earth is slightly egg shaped, doesn't it kind of make sense for the atmosphere to also not be spherical?

Sure! As my butt is slightly egg-shaped, you can expect my farts to be egg-shaped as well. Wha? My farts intruded on your space? Must be bad science.

For fuck's sake, chief. Go back to eighth grade science class, then come back and post on slashdot. Willya?

Re:Sometimes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526173)

amen, brother

Re:Sometimes... (2, Insightful)

vxvxvxvx (745287) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526183)

Sure! Your intuition is far more powerful than 100 years of scien-ma-tific observation. Well, admittedly science wasn't exactly at the same level in 1906 as it is today, especially for things like upper atmosphere composition.

Re:Sometimes... (2, Funny)

Zorque (894011) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526205)

And your fart joke certainly isn't of 8th grade calibur.

Re:Sometimes... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526253)

Well considering the hole in the Ozone layer was discovered in the eary/mid seventies and we have only been watching it since then, I'm guessing you need to go back to school and learn some basic math skills.

Re:Sometimes... (1)

GimliGloin (642963) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526353)

Sure! Your intuition is far more powerful than 100 years of scien-ma-tific observation.

Mod parent down as something other than funny... Its not...
Mod Grand-Parent up also because he has a good point.
Dude, his point was that it may be very possible that the O-Hole was always present before we had the means to measure it. You know, like "maybe" Pluto was around before it was discovered or that "maybe" global temps were fluctuating before man learned how to start fires...

It certainly seems possible that the fluctuating Ozone hole may be a naturally occuring process that has been happening for many many centuries AND thats its not because of BAD-HUMANS...

GSG

Re:Sometimes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16527647)

that "maybe" global temps were fluctuating before man learned how to start fires...

Durrr. Of course it was. And when it did a lot of stuff died. So answer this: Do you want to live? Or do you want to whine about how expensive it would be to try to save mankind and that we should all just give up now and have a big orgy and go out with a bang?

Personally I kind of lean towards the latter, but siding with corporate whores and sociopaths makes my skin crawl.

Re:Sometimes... (4, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526387)

Dude, if your farts have a "shape" I would recommend some pepto bismol......

Re:Sometimes... (5, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526469)

Sure! Your intuition is far more powerful than 100 years of scien-ma-tific observation.

Although the presence of ozone in the atmosphere has been known for a bit over 100 years, knowledge of the presence of a permanent ozone layer is rather more recent. Man did not reach the south pole until 1912 and did not fly over it until 1929. The first permanent observation station at the south pole was not established until 1957. Meanwhile the ability measure the thickness of the ozone layer, from either ground or satellite is concurrent with the discovery of the ozone hole. Mid 70s through mid 80s. Although ballons have been flying into the stratosphere for a couple ticks over 100 years, we only got a good idea of its structure in the mid 80s when we sent up an instrumented U2. OP is right to the extent that we really know squat all about the history of the ozone layer.

Go back to eighth grade science class, then come back and post on slashdot.

I had just finished my undergraduate studies in physics when we first started acurately measuring the thickness of the ozone layer indirectly; and thus being able actually map it. Perhaps you have the advantage on me of only recently being out of the eighth grade.

KFG

Re:Sometimes... (1)

Beefslaya (832030) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526523)

"Sure! Your intuition is far more powerful than 100 years of scien-ma-tific observation."

Yes and I totally trust your great-great Uncle Ned sticking his dick in a hole in the ground, telling us what the relative humidity and humidity was 100 years back.

Get real man, the ozone knowledge and global warming studies are in the infantile stages. We have just developed the equipment within the last 10 to measure this shit.

Re:Sometimes... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527563)

We have just developed the equipment within the last 10 to measure this

      Err, 20 years actually. My doesn't time fly?

Re:Sometimes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16527077)

Interestingly, when speculation about the hole first surfaced, scientists looked at the readings from a satellite set up to observe the ozone layer and said, wait, there's no hole htere. Then upon deeper inspection, they found that the software was programmed to throw out values outside of a certain range as bad data.

The ozone hole is not due to the shape of the earth, but rather wind patterns and the icy cold weather of Antartica. The ice crystals at high altitudes crack apart the ozone molecules. So it's possible that there's always been a hole down there, but it might be bigger or smaller depending on ozone levels elsewhere in the world, due to the wind patterns. It also varies by season.

Great (0, Troll)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526119)

So, after a precipitous drop in CFC emissions the problem continues to worsen. Any chance we were duped? If so, any reason I shouldn't assume we're being duped with all the bleating over carbon emissions?

-Peter

Re:Great (2, Insightful)

PhB95 (442518) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526175)

I heard when all this started that CFC made its way to upper atmosphere in a matter of 2-3 decades. So if dropping CFC helps, it may only become visible in the next decade... But I can't help thinking you may be right here :-)

Re:Great (5, Informative)

Apparissus (25769) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526181)

RTFA. It kindly mentions that

A) Chlorine, Bromine, and their Ozone cappin' friends stay in the atmosphere for decades. Even with a significant drop in emissions (its precipitousness is reminiscent of the bunny slope) it will be a very long time before significant positive effects accrue. As the article points out, we can expect about 0.1% to 0.2% per year in the near term.

B) This record breaking event is the culmination of several phenomena, including large-scale, seasonal factors that completely overshadow the tiny bit of healing the layer has done in the last few years. "This slow decrease is masked by large year-to-year variations caused by Antarctic stratosphere weather fluctuations."

One thing the article does NOT mention is any cry of "Wolf!". There isn't any environmentalist finger-wagging, just some scientists saying "holy shnikes, take a look at the SIZE of that thing!!"

The hole got bigger? (4, Funny)

Warbringer87 (969664) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526125)

Doesn't that usually happen when you fuck with a hole?

Re:The hole got bigger? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526239)

Seeing as you're posting on Slashdot, I can see why you wouldn't know

Just give it an animatronic hat... (0, Offtopic)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526133)

...and tell it to let down its skirts a bit. Can't hurt, right?

Wow, that Paul Newman (5, Funny)

jeffkjo1 (663413) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526153)

said Paul Newman, atmospheric scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Is nothing enough for Paul Newman? It's not enough that he stars in movies with Robert Redford, or that I'm forced to by his Salad Dressings and Microwave Pop-Corn... now I must apparently take his word on the o-zone layer. I suppose in 20 years he'll show up in a computer animated film as some sort of washed-up radio telescope convinced to go for one more shot at the big time.

/end sarcasm sequencer

Re:Wow, that Paul Newman (1)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527345)

Shuuuuuuuut up, or Paul Newman's gonna have my legs broke.

Meh. (1)

FrizzleFrylok (995842) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526251)

What's a few million square miles between friends?

Re:Meh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526325)

Bother! They warned me about the ozone hole, but I went outside today and mowed the lawn. When I came inside and went to the bathroom, I looked in the mirror and my skin had gone a funny orange colour and it's glowing slightly. Not sure if I like the effect - might have to borrow some of my wife's make-up till it goes away. It will come right in a day or two, right?

Congratulations (0, Offtopic)

noigmn (929935) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526281)

We have achieved a record once thought unattainable of by our forefathers. This is a grand day for all men. Contratulations to all involved.

I'd like to thank....

Obligatory (0, Offtopic)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526289)

Itsa beowulf cluster of Goatse's

Tore-A-Bora (-1, Troll)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526309)

Rats! Does this mean that Osama escaped again?

Sad ... but (1)

kramulous (977841) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526341)

If I were releasing scientific visualisations regarding some simulation science (my guess regarding the images), I'd be making sure that those images looked right. The second is a little off, making me question the model they're using.

I know, a bit of a tough bastard, but ... ?

Obligatory Futurama Quote (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526351)

"And what's this layer of ozone? That's never been there before." - Professor Farnsworth before discovering that the ship had been taken back in time 1057 years to 1947.

Report Updated (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526369)

NASA has now updated their report to indicate that their observations did not actually correspond to the size of the ozone hole, but, rather, the size of my ex-girlfriend's vagina.

The religion of environmentalism (0, Offtopic)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526375)

When I hear people talk about the evils of the "religious right," it makes me think a bit. The left are equally religious, the difference is that their religion doesn't center around any deity or spiritual beliefs. Instead it centers around this psuedo-scientific faith called environmentalism.

The religious right always talk about how its better to believe in god, and how you should change your lifestyle to accomodate the bible or the qu'ran or whatever holy book they might have, because if they are right and god exists, then you're doomed to eternal damnation, and if they're wrong...well then no big deal. Ok whatever *cough*bullshit*cough*. They are pretty sure in their beliefs though, and they even believe that modern science can prove their beliefs. But none of them have ever been proven beyond any reasonable doubt.

The religious left do the same thing, only with a different argument. They believe that the earth is this extremely precious ecosystem, and if we don't stop driving SUV's, and adjust the crap out of our lifestyles to follow the findings of their psuedo-science in order to stop "polluting" the environment, then we're all doomed to die in some hellfire called global warming. But they too acknowledge that if they are wrong, then no big deal, but we should still alter our lifestyles anyways just to accomodate their beliefs anyways rather than risk a fiery end. And like the religious right, their beliefs have never been proven either, and IMO are equally retarded.

FWIW (and slightly off topic) I know some of you are thinking "what side of the aisle does this blasphemous polluting asshole sit on?" well, unlike people like Michael Moore who attempt to decieve by hiding their political affiliations, even though they are in fact democrats, I believe in being honest. I am an Atheist libertarian who has a long history of voting Republican. There, I said it. As a person who votes Republican, I am a minority of the slashdot crowd, and in all likelyhood I am going to be downmoderated as a troll by at least one person because of that fact. Unless of course they read that sentence and actually think about how predictable they are, in which case they would take a route I often take: when in doubt, or if you just don't know, then don't vote.

Re:The religion of environmentalism (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526429)

As a person who votes Republican, I am a minority of the slashdot crowd,

That is very doubtful. Back in the early hip days, that would have been true. Now, I think that the majority are republicans. You will still be modded as a troll (because you are), but I have seen loads of mods that are clearly republican in nature.

And this comes from a long time /.er(I did not register until much later) Libertarian who votes against politicians that run up deficits, kills off our rights, evades the constition, takes bribes, molest pages, and lies about it all.

Re:The religion of environmentalism (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526495)

Libertarian who votes against politicians that run up deficits, kills off our rights, evades the constition, takes bribes, molest pages, and lies about it all.

Well, it sounds like you cancel all of Alpha Wolf's votes.

Re:The religion of environmentalism (1)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526655)

Well, in the US we have something carefully crafted by the founding fathers called the electoral college system, if you've ever heard of that. My votes reinforce those of us in my state of Arizona who have 10 electors (and quickly rising,) and also have a history of being a red state. Odds are he lives in a different state, so his vote probably doesn't impact mine at all.

both parties are scum (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526889)

Vote for the little man.

Major parties are in cahoots and evil, toe the part line, be part of the in crowd, no independent thought, bend over to big brother.

Vote #3, remember what number 1s and number 2s mean in the toilet. Thats what they are!!

Hmm.... (4, Funny)

Lars512 (957723) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526381)

...increased cancer for us Australians this year. Not to worry though, in 60 years, whatever skin we have left on our face and arms after the melanomas have been removed will be safe(r).

-snicker- (1)

Beefslaya (832030) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526493)

Is it me? Or is it getting hot in here?

what the hell. (1)

timerider (14785) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526497)

the headline makes it sound as if it's something to be proud of.

How fast will the posts denouncing this will begin (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16526559)

bad science, man is not responsible for this, this is a natural occurance, etc etc. I will check back in an hour or so to read the predictable bullshit posted.
face it people, global warming IS here. Doesnt matter if man's activities are resposnbile for this or not. The ONLY question left is HOW BAD this will affect our ability to produce food and feed 6.5 billion people(soon to be 7).

NASA announcement raises questions... (4, Funny)

the_tsi (19767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526609)

"NASA Announces Record Ozone Hole"

- Yes, but will it be available in retail before the holiday shopping season? What will availability be?

- Can it run Lunix? Duke Nukem 4? NetBSD? Can I make a beowulf out of them?

- Shouldn't we wait for Rev. B?

- Why didn't they mention any pricing in the article? It's totally a vaporware mock-up, like that keyboard!

- Did they use clean energy to manufacture it?

- Isn't the one from RKA/ESA/JAXA superior? NASA only makes hoaxes anyway -- Was this "ozone hole" actually on a sound stage in Nevada?

Re:NASA announcement raises questions... (1)

TrancePhreak (576593) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527129)

One of the few funny posts of slashdot.

Steve Martin Quote (1)

pipingguy (566974) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526693)

Do you ever wonder where all the farts go? They go into the atmosphere and form the Fart Zone. It's just above the ozone layer. This is why we MUST PROTECT THE OZONE LAYER.

If anything happened to ozone layer, all those farts would fall back to earth. And NOT on their original owners.

A new record?! (1)

ross.w (87751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526833)

Way to go! break out the champagne.

Oh....wait.....

It's not a good thing?

Statistics (5, Interesting)

agentcdog (885108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526835)

I am a scientist trained at the undergraduate level (so I claim no authority). They beat statistics into us. I now read things with my statistical-skeptic hat on. Here's my problem: .2% decline only matters if there is a margin of error that is small enough for .2% to be significant. Let us say, for argument's sake, that the error in our readings is around 3%. We then model the system and have check it against the data that we have. Is there any way for us to have enough data to make the statement that we expect a .2% improvement? Statistics come with confidences. I'd be shocked if the confidence level on this data is above 50%. Does anyone have any insight here?

900 million cows for mcdonalds is part of the sim? (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526867)

I wonder if any one inputed the effect all mcdonalds/burgerking chain stores have on the hole, re with all
that beef thats needed, and how much shit those cows make and how much they fart methane!!!

Did you add 600 billion cubic meters of methane!?!?!?!?!?!?

Cows are bad choice for food, they take a long time to grow, eat heaps, pollute the air. Require massive
amounts of land. They are UDDER Crap!

On a per tonne of wate and acre statistic, INSECTS provide way more protein than cows, if people got over
the fact of eating worms/bugs and stuff. Hey, people eat lobsters and prawns, they are really the INSECTS
of the SEA!!! And they are yummy, which im sure if cooked right, land based insects would be as nice. 300% more
protein, no fat, easy to grow, as they eat any thing and dont require difficult taking care off, and if lots of them
die, BIG DEAL, eat em all!!

I'll have a McBug Super size with extra worms thanks

Re:900 million cows for mcdonalds is part of the s (2, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527539)

and how much shit those cows make and how much they fart methane!!!

      You know, people fart too. I hope you're wearing your butt-plug, my fellow eco-warrior...

Your questions answered (0, Troll)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16526965)

1. Stratospheric ozone has nothing whatsoever to do with tropospheric ozone. Stratospheric ozone is formed by cosmic rays hitting oxygen molecules and forming O3 molecules.
2. CFCs have nothing whatsoever to do with stratospheric ozone. Even though a Nobel Prize was given for the supposed link between CFCs and ozone depletion, no-one has ever explained how CFC molecules which are much heavier than air, can rise up in the stratosphere, travel all of the way to Antarctica before being broken down into chlorine and fluorine and reacting the O3
3. The real reasons why ozone is depleted is

a) the temperature above Antarctica has fallen in the last fifty years (and not a single climate model predicted that one) and in the ice clouds that form high in the stratosphere in the early Antarctic spring the temperature drops below -80C. Chlorine in the ice reacts with the ozone.

b) the solar cycle is heading towards a minimum. This decreases the magnetic field, increasing the ozone but also increases production of chlorine.

Bingo! An ozone hole forms over the Antarctica - an entirely natural phenomenon.

Even more bingo! Some eco-warrior claims it must be caused by mankind. Ergo the extremely safe stable CFCs are replaced with benzene, thus turning your refrigerator into a potential BOMB.

Or did I miss something? Weren't we supposed to have solved the ozone problem?

Re:Your questions answered (2, Informative)

jez9999 (618189) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527019)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone_depletion#CFCs_ in_the_atmosphere [wikipedia.org] , and the text below that section, seem to call bullshit on your assertion that CFCs have no effect on the ozone.

Re:Your questions answered (1)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527661)

You quoted Wikipedia, the weblog that anyone can edit, just so long as they agree with the admins.

Could you at least try a reliable source? Or even try to answer the questions?

Re:Your questions answered (1)

gomoX (618462) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527089)

Actually they are replacing CFCs with Butane. Benzene is a carcinogen. You don't find it on many things because of this.

Re:Your questions answered (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16527225)

no-one has ever explained how CFC molecules which are much heavier than air, can rise up in the stratosphere, travel all of the way to Antarctica before being broken down into chlorine and fluorine and reacting the O3

Maybe not, but they're there. All the same tools that tell us whats in other planets' atmospheres works equally well on our own. Further more, as surprising as it may be, if you lay down on the ground, you're not likely to asphyxiate unless someone dumps a sufficient amount of a heavy gas right next to you, since the atmosphere mixes up rather easily. As for how they move, I'm going to suggest things like the Jet Stream for moving them around the planet, and equatorial heating to carry CFCs into the upper atmosphere and down towards the pole.

Chlorine in the ice

Interesting theory. Where did the chlorine come from? A molecule of Cl2 (total atomic mass 71 [wikipedia.org] ) is more massive than N2 (28), O2 (32), and CO2 (44), or does "too heavy" only count when it's you saying it? Could it possibly be that the Cl in your ice is the same Cl in CFCs?

thus turning your refrigerator into a potential BOMB.

Aside from someone else already pointing out that it's not benzene, I guess you're too young to remember the days of early ammonia refrigerators, now those were the BOMB!

Re:Your questions answered (1, Insightful)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527657)


Maybe not, but they're there. All the same tools that tell us whats in other planets' atmospheres works equally well on our own. Further more, as surprising as it may be, if you lay down on the ground, you're not likely to asphyxiate unless someone dumps a sufficient amount of a heavy gas right next to you, since the atmosphere mixes up rather easily. As for how they move, I'm going to suggest things like the Jet Stream for moving them around the planet, and equatorial heating to carry CFCs into the upper atmosphere and down towards the pole.


An active imagination is a wonderful thing.

1. CFCs are not found in the stratosphere any where on the planet, they're simply too heavy. Chlorine is. The most obvious source would be from volcanoes. By the by, Antarctica has its own source of chlorine called Mount Erebus.

2. Laying on the ground won't kill you, thats true, there is some mixing. But how a heavy molecule gets up into the stratosphere and travels all the way from (usually) the Northern Hemisphere to the South Pole is not simply a difficult problem, but completely impossible.

3. The Jet Stream doesn't go anywhere near the Equator, and even if it did, there's no mechanism to keep CFCs aloft all the way to Antarctica.

Could it possibly be that the Cl in your ice is the same Cl in CFCs?

Very, very , very unlikely. What about from salt carries high into the atmosphere and then broken down by a decent sized cosmic particle? Erm. Didn't want to consider alternatives did you?

In any case, there are more plausible ways to get chlorine into the stratosphere than by CFCs.

Oh, and you missed the final bit: if CFCs have been legislated away by the Montreal Protocol then why, ten years after we thought the problem licked, does a massive ozone hole appear over Antarctica?

Re:Your questions answered (1)

freeweed (309734) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527355)

Mods, wake up!

Point one is correct, otherwise this is just a cleverly worded troll. Unless every shred of Earth Science theory has been torn to pieces in the past 5 minutes, none of what this poster claims is even remotely true - or even very believable, for that matter.

Re:Your questions answered (1)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527725)

It's interesting that I get called a troll for something that is a very current debate in the field of atmospheric chemistry.

I'd say you need to take a ten-year break from posting on Slashdot to grow up some more. Come back when your balls have dropped.

Re:Your questions answered (2, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527513)

a) the temperature above Antarctica has fallen in the last fifty years (and not a single climate model predicted that one) and in the ice clouds that form high in the stratosphere in the early Antarctic spring the temperature drops below -80C. Chlorine in the ice reacts with the ozone.

But but by your argument there should not be any stratospheric ice, since water is heavier than atmospheric gases.

In fact, if we accept your theory then we wouldn't be able to breathe at sea level, because atmospheric CO2 would sort to the bottom, forming a thin layer of pure CO2,over which there would be thick layer of pure O2, over which there would be a very thick layer of N2.

However, below 100km, the weight of gas molecules is completely irrelevant to their atmospheric concentration due to many, many mechanisms that mix the atmosphere.

Re:Your questions answered (1)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527691)

They don't mix that well between the stratosphere and the troposphere is the straight answer. The bigger problem is the one you avoid: how to get CFCs into the stratosphere when they're so heavy and then down to Antartica.

During the winter a polar vortex forms which keeps moisture and warmth away from the stratosphere, stopping practically all mixing. So how do the CFCs stick around long enough to get broken down in the middle of winter and what keeps them aloft?

Re:Your questions answered (1)

Actinide (772269) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527541)

The scientific case for a CFC origin for the Antarctic ozone hole is so overwhelmingly robust that the case was effectively closed over ten years ago. For anyone mistakenly concerned that the parent post's sentiment is even remotely factual, do a bit of reading - Google is your friend. An old, but good starting point is the ozone depletion FAQ - e.g. http://www.faqs.org/faqs/ozone-depletion/ [faqs.org] . There are countless others..

Re:Your questions answered (1)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527719)

"The Science is settled".

I've got news for you. Science is never settled, and certainly not by someone making the claim that such-and-such a theory is os overwhelmingly robust. Any scientific theory can be falsified by a single experiment, which is the fundamental principle of scientific inquiry that a theory be falsifiable.

Since chlorine atoms don't come stamped with "I was once part of a CFC" this makes it difficult to falsify in the scientific sense.

Google is your friend as well. Unfortunately Google tells it like it is - the Internet is full of crap.

Ozone Layer Free Planet Earth? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16527047)

Well, granting that some species might actually survive ultra-high UV levels,
all that radiation should up the mutation rate -

Maybe evolution will get get overclocked and the Dolphins will finally get the opposable thumbs they have been waiting for...

Humans are in trouble!
http://www.theonion.com/content/node/28315 [theonion.com]

Congratulations (1)

Rob Kaper (5960) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527249)

NASA has announced that the ozone hole over the Antarctic has broken all records.


I think congratulations are in place, that's quite an achievement. Guinness' Book will now be such a bore though.

Finally! (2, Funny)

SilentOneNCW (943611) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527267)

Alright everyone, our goal has been achieved. Take a little break and we'll meet back here for more ozone depletion in a few aeons, mm'kay?

Re: Ozone Hole (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16527323)

I don't think the severity of the Ozone hole, regardless of its fundermental underlying causes, can really be accepted or apprecciated by any-one living in the Northern Hemisphere. Its appears to be something akin to "Ah well, that sound bads, nevermind" BUT .. Anyone living in Australia or especially New Zealand, the coutries on the edge of the hole, know too well what it will mean for them this summer...and it not pretty.

With the highest rates of melanoma skin cancer in the world due to the lack of UV protecting Ozone and predominantly clean air. These two countries bear the full brunt of the impact of the hole. At the height of summer, sunburn can occur in as little as 6 minutes!! of sun exposur. Anyone outside without SPF30+ sunscreen, glasses, a shirt and a hat should be considered a fool. This is what its like to live with a hole in the Ozone above your country.

If this is what is was like above your country in summer, when you would just like to enjoy yourself and "Catch some rays, down at the beach". You certainly wouldn't be arguing about how it was cause or who caused it, you'rd be trying to find a way to fix it!

Sometimes, I wish the hole could be moved to somewhere move deserving.

Re: Ozone Hole (1)

Xyrus (755017) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527583)

However, in a few generations the populations of those countries will become resistant to UV radiation. Which means if the whole spreads, everyone else dies except for the southern countries.

I, for one, welcome our new Kiwi, Lord of the Ring loving overlords.

~X~

Conflicting studies? (1)

majortom1981 (949402) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527429)

Wasn't there just recently a report by nasa stating the ozone hole was shrinking and by a certain year it will be gone? Now they are saying its the biggest one ever?

Funny ..... (1, Redundant)

snoggeramus (945056) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527469)

No mention of the hole that is made every time the space shuttle punches through.

This is perfectly normal (4, Informative)

TheVelvetFlamebait (986083) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527685)

Here's a brief explanation:

CFCs need to leech from the troposphere to the stratosphere. The troposphere is very easy to travel through, as temperatures decreases as you approach the stratosphere. This allows for the warmer air near ground level to rise to the top of the troposphere, where it cools and sinks back to the ground (which then warms again, etc). This makes sure that pollutants such as CFCs travel very well throughout the troposphere.

However, the stratosphere warms as you go higher. The cooler air down below sinks back into the troposphere, making it hard for pollutants to enter it. The stratosphere is where the ozone is. The only way for the gas to get into the stratosphere is to diffuse very slowly into it, where it can do its damage.

This is why there is such a big hole now. Diffusion into the stratosphere takes many years. Scientists have predicted a peak in CFC levels in the stratosphere around about now. Slowly, all the CFCs we've produced will diffuse, react to become relatively harmless free radicals, and the ozone layer will be restored. Until then, sit tight.

But but but.... (1)

SnowCzar (726517) | more than 7 years ago | (#16527693)

I thought it was repairing itself! [abc.net.au]
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