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Earth Science

Signs of Ozone Layer Recovery Detected 363

Posted by Soulskill
from the now-we-can-officially-stop-caring dept.
polar red writes "22 years of banning CFCs is starting to pay off. Researchers have finally been able to measure a reduction in size of the ozone layer hole, after finding the source of its fluctuations. 'Salby's results reveal a fast decline in ozone levels until the late 1990s, then a slow rebound that closely matches what theoretical calculations had predicted, says David Karoly, a climate scientist at the University of Melbourne, Australia. "It is the sort of result that was expected, but is the first to provide detection of an increase in Antarctic ozone levels," he says.'"
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Signs of Ozone Layer Recovery Detected

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  • by Drake42 (4074) * on Friday May 20, 2011 @05:35PM (#36196102) Homepage

    Why is it that the scientists can detect an ozone hole, provide a fix, show that the fix solved the problem, and then be LOUDLY IGNORED by the liars in congress.

    Oh. The CFL manufacturers had less money than the oil people. Sorry. I forgot...

    • by 0123456 (636235) on Friday May 20, 2011 @05:39PM (#36196152)

      The CFL manufacturers had less money than the oil people. Sorry. I forgot...

      Didn't the 'ozone hole' only become an OH MY GOD WE'RE GOING TO DIE problem after the patent on CFCs in air conditioning expired?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by mangu (126918)

      Why is it that the scientists can detect an ozone hole, provide a fix, show that the fix solved the problem, and then be LOUDLY IGNORED by the liars in congress.

      Oh. The CFL manufacturers had less money than the oil people. Sorry. I forgot...

      What has one thing to do with the other?

      The ozone layer hole was caused by the use of chloro-fluoro-carbon gases that decompose the O3 molecules in the stratosphere.

      Global warming is caused by the emission of gases, mostly CO2, that trap infrared radiation in the lower atmosphere.

      The ozone layer problem was solved by substituting the CFC gases for other less harmful gases.

      Solving the global warming problem is more difficult because it's difficult to replace fuels that generate CO2 with other forms of energy

      • by tibit (1762298) on Friday May 20, 2011 @05:50PM (#36196254)

        Global warming is caused by the emission of gases, mostly CO2, but also CFC replacements that are 1000s of times more potent than CO2.

        Fixed that for ya. Apparently Nature doesn't provide free lunches :(

        • by marnues (906739)
          The ozone disappearing was a much more pressing and obvious issue than global warming. I understand that we replaced one problem with another, but that's engineering. We went with the issue that would give us more time to solve. Besides, it would have been an issue anyway.
        • by spun (1352)

          Global warming is caused by the emission of gases, mostly CO2, but also CFC replacements that are 1000s of times more potent than CO2.

          Fixed that for ya. Apparently Nature doesn't provide free lunches :(

          Oh no, Nature is charging for lunch now? Does she accept credit cards? Does "lunch" include the things necessary to create lunch, like the sun? Do I have to pay for the sun now?!? That sounds expensive.

        • Numbers please! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by mangu (126918) on Friday May 20, 2011 @06:47PM (#36196854)

          Global warming is caused by the emission of gases, mostly CO2, but also CFC replacements that are 1000s of times more potent than CO2.

          Fixed that for ya. Apparently Nature doesn't provide free lunches :(

          No, you fixed nothing, you just failed to take into account numbers.

          CO2 isn't harmful just because it's a global warming gas. It's so harmful because it's emitted in several orders of magnitude more than other gases.

          Another gas may be 1000 times more potent, but if only a billionth as much as CO2 is being emitted, then so what?

        • by riverat1 (1048260)

          But there 10's of thousands of times less CFC replacement gases in the atmosphere than CO2 so they are a minor component of GHG warming. By themselves they wouldn't cause enough warming to worry about. Adding them on top of CO2 and methane they don't help.

    • by tibit (1762298) on Friday May 20, 2011 @05:49PM (#36196250)

      Now be careful. The CFC replacements are potent greenhouse gases [acs.org]. Potent as in 3 orders of magnitude worse than CO2. Is it better to die of skin cancer, or of hunger due to crop failures due to draught due to raising global temperature? I don't know...

      • by geekoid (135745)

        Ozone was a more pressing issue. And guite frankly, C02 from fossile fuel emission are such a large part of the problem, the chemicals now used to replace CFC is a drop in the bucket.

      • by Cyberax (705495)

        First, some ozone-depleting compounds are even worse. For example, halons not only destroy the ozone layer but are also among the top global warming agents (by the virtue of their chemical unreactivity).

        Second, the total amount of emitted CFC-replacement gases is not large, so we can generally ignore it for now.

        Third, there are CFC replacement with less GW potential.

      • by rahvin112 (446269)

        The amount of CFC released into the atmosphere is insignificant against the sheer volume of CO2 (millions of tons of gas versus probably less than a ton of CFC). In addition Methane is even more potent than CFC's (IIRC it is 10 times more effective at trapping heat than CO2) and is an unregulated emission just like CO2. You could do more to stop global climate change by making natural gas illegal than you would ever cause by outlawing CFC's. In fact you probably emit personally more Methane through intestin

    • by Mascot (120795)

      I seem to recall there being scientists back then arguing "CFC or no CFC, this will fix itself given a few decades, no reason to panic". By your logic, should we now believe whatever those people state?

      The point I'm trying to make, as others have: correlation != causality.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by marnues (906739)
        I'm going to admit that my understanding of the situation is also based on me "recall[ing] there being scientists" saying certain things, one of which is that the ozone hole was directly caused by massive CFC usage. That directly refutes you and is the status quo belief. You are the one with the burden of proof.
      • by bunratty (545641)
        Yes, without any proposed mechanism of causality, a correlation is just a correlation and does not imply causality. But with CFCs and the ozone layer, there is a mechanism of causality. CFCs catalyze the reaction of ozone molecules breaking up into oxygen molecules.
      • The point I'm trying to make, as others have: correlation != causality.

        However, we have a good understanding of the chemistry and physics. Neither the ozone hole nor global warming are explained by 'correlation' with something.

    • by Mashiki (184564)

      The fact that you even use 'oil people' in a statement and believe that all deniers are in that group shows just how much bias, and the methods you use to stifle debate on the issue. I'd be ashamed to use use that as an argument. But since many in the pro-AGW use this regularly, I'll just lump you as a religious nutbag. Your methods are similar.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        You're right, there are also religious nut jobs that believe that God won't allow any flooding because the Bible doesn't foresee ones. And the libertarians that are opposed to any and all regulations on the basis of them being entitled to do whatever they like so long as there isn't an indisputable conflict with other people's rights. And then don't forget the people who don't actually have any education on the matter who are skeptics mainly because Fox News tells them to be afraid of the vast liberal consp

      • your willingness to whore for the deniers shows you to be devoid of any shame. Care to try another excuse to avoid accepting responsibility?
    • by Solandri (704621) on Friday May 20, 2011 @06:10PM (#36196460)
      It's because most of the evidence supporting global warming thus far is comprised of correlation studies. As I like to say, a good correlation paper can win you a high school science fair. A good causation paper can win you the Nobel prize. Which is precisely what happened with ozone depletion [wikipedia.org]. A trio of scientists came up with an elegant, predictive, and empirically accurate mechanism to explain exactly how ozone depletion was occurring, and won the Nobel prize in Chemistry for it.

      Come up with a comprehensive, predictive, and empirically accurate model for climate change, and you will probably win the Nobel prize (in something like physics, not a trophy prize like peace) and simultaneously convince the world's government that they must act. The problem with correlation studies is that they're always open to dispute since you never identify or test the actual mechanism causing the problem. That's what happened with cigarettes - for decades the medical community had tons of correlation studies saying that smoking was bad. But the government restrictions and bans didn't come about until medical researchers began to identify and confirm the mechanisms by which smoking was causing cancer.
      • by Mindcontrolled (1388007) on Friday May 20, 2011 @06:18PM (#36196532)
        The causation paper for climate change would win you zilch at all, since the basic mechanism has been published by Arrhenius about 130 years ago. All the open questions are more in the realm of systems theory, not in the realm of basic mechanisms.
      • by cryptolemur (1247988) on Friday May 20, 2011 @06:30PM (#36196674)
        Oddly enough climate change is something that comes out of the physics models when you put in what we understand of the climate. It has nothing to do with correlation, it's pure mechanical causation. As it happens, the observations do confirm the model.

        And it also happens, that the exact same people who were arguing against CFC -> Ozone hole causation and smoking -> lung cancer causation started arguing against climate change. They obviously can fool some of the people all of the time.

        Oh, and the actual mechanism of how smoking causes lung cancer was partly revealed a few year back, but is still not completely understood.
        • As for the smoking -> cancer mechanism, large parts of it are known for decades. Polycyclic aromates in the smoke are potent intercalators, which put themselves between basepairs in DNA and mess with replication. Given how fast biochemistry has developed in the last century, that mechanism is positively prehistoric. There are other mechanisms, some of which have been found more recently, but the basics are known for ages.
      • by bunratty (545641)
        Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas [wikipedia.org]. The causation is trivial. That's why global warming was predicted long before it was observed [wikipedia.org].
        • What observations would *not* fit the prediction? Specifically, what is your falsifiable hypothesis of carbon dioxide driven global warming?

          • by bunratty (545641) on Friday May 20, 2011 @07:01PM (#36197008)
            The observation that would not fit the prediction would be little or no warming. The falsifiable hypothesis is that an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes warming. There are literally hundreds of published scientific papers you can read about the topic. It's been a very active area of research for decades. I'll point you to just one short summary of the research results [norvig.com].
            • Okay, so say we get little or no warming for 5 years, while CO2 increases. Are you satisfied that CO2 doesn't drive temperature?

              What about 10 years? 20 years? 50 years? What if we find an ice core record that shows 100 years of rising CO2 and falling temperatures?

              We already have falsifications to the very basic "an increase in CO2 causes warming", because we've *observed* cooling during periods of increasing CO2. So now you've got to expand on your hypothesis to account for periods of cooling during in

      • by geekoid (135745)

        many people find causation in thing and never win the Nobel prize. It's a poor yard stick.

        And they have shown mechanisms for Global Climate Change.

    • Actually, it's because the alternatives to CFCs were several orders of magnitude more profitable than the CFCs themselves.
    • by khallow (566160)

      Why is it that the scientists can detect an ozone hole, provide a fix, show that the fix solved the problem

      It's worth noting that the complete sequence described above hasn't actually happened. Sure, an ozone hole was detected, but we don't know that human activities have played a significant role in its existence, that is, it may something that occurs anyway without human interference and hence, we are at best very limited in our ability to fix it without some large scale geoengineering project.

      Then the final claim in the sequence that the "fix solved the problem" is based on nothing but wishful thinking. He

  • Haven't you heard? The end is tomorrow.

  • too bad tomorrow is the end.

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