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Earth Science

Over the Antarctic, the Smallest Ozone Hole In a Decade 174

hypnosec writes "The ozone layer seems to be on a road to recovery over Antarctica; according to Europe's MetOp weather satellite, which is monitoring atmospheric ozone, the hole over the South Pole in 2012 was the smallest it's been in the last 10 years. The decrease in size of the hole is probably the result of reduction in the concentration of CFCs, especially since the mid-1990s, because of international agreements like the Montreal Protocol."
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Over the Antarctic, the Smallest Ozone Hole In a Decade

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  • HypnoToad says (Score:1, Insightful)

    by DFurno2003 ( 739807 ) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @03:37PM (#42851891)
    Correlation is not causation.
  • by noobermin ( 1950642 ) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @03:40PM (#42851925) Journal

    Perhaps this means that conservation efforts over the last decade have had effect? I don't know, I'm honestly speaking from a point of view that is ignorant of climate science. In any case, this is great news.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 10, 2013 @04:16PM (#42852255)

    Perhaps it's entirely a natural occurence and that all the efforts were for nothing at all...

  • In other words ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Daniel Dvorkin ( 106857 ) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @04:20PM (#42852289) Homepage Journal

    ... scientists recognized an environmental problem and demonstrated a clear link to human activity, the scientists told the politicians about it, the politicians acted, and now the problem's going away.

    My God, this is terrible! We must ensure that no such thing ever happens again!

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @04:34PM (#42852373)

    This demonstrates a problem seen on both sides of the climate change debate - people look at their short term local environment and extrapolate those experiences to the world as a whole without looking at actual relevant data.

    Had a really hot summer? Boy, this global warming has gotten bad, it's going to wipe out humanity in a decade.

    Terrible winter? Man, I'm tired of all those global warming alarmists - I wish it WAS warming!

    But as far as the ozone hole goes... Given the very slow rate of exchange between the upper and lower atmosphere, it's hard to see how policy changes mainly implemented by western countries in the very recent past could fully explain this.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 10, 2013 @05:34PM (#42852983)

    First of all, there never was a "hole" [wikipedia.org] - a better term would be an "ozone reduction". Its cause remains unknown. There are many theories [redstate.com], and the one exclusively blaming CFC's is made increasingly implausible by recent research [reason.com], as well as the recent ozone increase. What is known is that the government intervention in banning CFC's had some small negative impact [mises.org] on the quality of life of almost everyone alive today. The effect of the ban on the ozone layer, if any, won't kick in until the CFC particles already released begin to exit the atmosphere many decades from now...

    There are many natural cycles that affect this planet and this solar system, and modern science has not been around long enough to measure and fully understand all of them. However "we don't know" is not an acceptable answer to many people - they want a story that sounds good and fits their preconceived political beliefs...


  • Sigh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RevDisk ( 740008 ) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @05:43PM (#42853077) Journal
    I hate to even point this out, because idiots will claim I am a global warming denier, climate change denier or kicker of cute puppies...

    But I really wish that the climate change folks would take a note from the whole ozone thing. CFCs and other contributory substances (ozone-depleting substances (ODS)) were proven to have an impact. CFCs were replaced with hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and other alternative solvents with minimal costs. And the problem was economically solved for the most part.

    Folks proved what the problem was (ozone depletion), what was a very significant contributor (CFCs), how everything happened (in a scientific "can be repeated, with the same results every time"), set up accurate and provable models (Single Layer Isentropic Model of Chemistry And Transport (SLIMCAT), CLaMS (Chemical Lagrangian Model of the Stratosphere), etc), and how to economically mitigate the bad stuff by using less bad stuff. The last stage is arguably the most important. All of the climate change research and proof in the world is nice. But it doesn't mean jack if it doesn't produce economically acceptable alternatives.

    X is bad? Fine. Accurately prove how they are bad, in a way that is relatively easy to proof in a repeatable way. Gimme alternatives that are viable (ie can be realistically implemented in a reasonable manner), that are economic (preferably cheaper, but no more than 5-10% more expensive) that are effective (preferably better, but no more than 5-10% less effiicient).

    I spent time in former Soviet countries and third world countries. I'm aware of how bad pollution can be. It can be horribly nasty. I'm also not a moron, so I realize you have to be able to realistically solve the problem if you want to mitigate it. I'll bet myself $1 that I get called a climate denier, right wing puppy kicker or whatnot anyways.
  • Re:So tell me... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pino Grigio ( 2232472 ) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @07:15PM (#42853827)
    It depends on the topic really. Not skeptical at all about the Holocaust, no, mostly because my Grandfather was at Burgen Belsen in 1945 with the British Army. And attempts to lump everyone who is skeptical of one thing together with anyone who's skeptical about anything is just a poor debating tactic.
  • Re:Sigh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by foobsr ( 693224 ) on Sunday February 10, 2013 @09:25PM (#42854689) Homepage Journal
    economics imposes constraints on any solution to the problem of anthropogenic climate change

    anthropogenic climate change imposes constraints on all solutions to the problems of economics



  • by metrometro ( 1092237 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @12:06AM (#42855539)

    The important thing to remember is that if unregulated, industry would have fixed this eventually. Like, after we were all dead.

  • Re:HypnoToad says (Score:4, Insightful)

    by khallow ( 566160 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @01:47AM (#42855983)

    This Letter reports reliable satellite data in the period of 1980â"2007 covering two full 11-yr cosmic ray (CR) cycles

    This should be a warning sign for you. Small data sets(and here, over short time scales) can indicate correct results, but they can also be highly misleading.

  • Re:HypnoToad says (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pino Grigio ( 2232472 ) on Monday February 11, 2013 @05:11AM (#42856717)
    Well, that applies to the hypothesis that man-made CFCs cause it too. We don't have a record of the ozone hole over the Antarctic going back very far either, do we? For all we know, it's a natural cyclic event.

Heuristics are bug ridden by definition. If they didn't have bugs, then they'd be algorithms.