Climate change may spur the destruction of ozone in unexpected parts of the globe.
In a warming world, many scientists believe, severe weather will become more common. That could be a problem in part because powerful rainstorms have the potential to erode ozone above the United States, researchers report online July 27 in Science.
“For 30 years, we’ve studied the problems of ozone loss and climate change separately,” says team leader James Anderson, a Harvard atmospheric scientist. “Now it’s pretty clear that climate change appears to be linked directly to the loss of ozone.” High-altitude ozone acts as a protective shield, blocking ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer.
Anderson and his colleagues stumbled on the unexpected connection while studying strong summer storms fueled by rising heat. During missions from 2001 to 2007, NASA planes flying close to the edge of space spotted water spewed high into the sky by convective storms over the U.S. The goal was to gather useful measurements for figuring out how high-altitude clouds form and trap heat.
Read More… (Science News)
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