There are many sources of news for non-scientists about science and nature. IMO this is the best: Anthony Watt’s Watts Up With That? Here are the most recent articles, all worth a look. I recommend also reading the the comments, esp those by scientist Leif Svalgaard (his website).
1. “Chill in the air: record low temps in 10 states“, 26 October 2008 — Excerpt:
As many readers know, we’ve had an earlier than normal start to fall weather in the USA, and the cold just keeps on coming. Here is a summary of record low temperatures seen recently, courtesy of this website called IceAgeNow.
This article links to a U of Waterloo press release: “New theory predicts the largest ozone hole over Antarctica will occur this month“, 16 September 2008 — Excerpt:
A University of Waterloo scientist says that cosmic rays are a key cause for expanding the hole in the ozone layer over the South Pole — and predicts the largest ozone hole will occur in one or two weeks.
Qing-Bin Lu, a professor of physics and astronomy who studies ozone depletion, said that it was generally accepted for more than two decades that the Earth’s ozone layer is depleted by chlorine atoms produced by sunlight-induced destruction of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the atmosphere. But more and more evidence now points to a new theory that the cosmic rays (energy particles that originate in space) play a major role.
The ozone layer is a layer in Earth’s atmosphere that contains high concentrations of ozone. It absorbs almost all of the sun’s high-frequency ultraviolet light, which is potentially damaging to life on Earth and causes diseases such as skin cancer and cataracts. The Antarctic ozone hole can be larger than the size of North America.
Lu said that data from several sources, including NASA satellites, show a strong correlation between cosmic ray intensity and ozone depletion. Lab measurements demonstrate a mechanism by which cosmic rays cause drastic reactions of ozone-depleting chlorine inside polar clouds.
Satellite data in the period of 1980-2007, covering two full 11-year solar cycles, demonstrate the significant correlation between cosmic rays and ozone depletion.
“This finding, combined with laboratory measurements, provides strong evidence of the role of cosmic-ray driven reactions in causing the ozone hole and resolves the mystery why a large discrepancy between the sunlight-related photochemical model and the observed ozone depletion exists,” Lu said.
For example, the most recent scientific assessments of ozone depletion by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme, which use photochemical models, predict ozone will increase by one to 2.5 per cent between 2000 and 2020 and Antarctic springtime ozone is projected to increase by five to 10 per cent between 2000 and 2020.
In sharp contrast, Lu said his study predicts the severest ozone loss — resulting in the largest ozone hole — will occur over the South Pole this month. The study also predicts another large hole will probably occur around 2019.
For more information from the FM site
To read other articles about these things, see the following:
- About Science & Nature – my articles
- About Science & nature – studies & reports (esp section 4 about the solar cycle)
- About Science & Nature – general media articles
- About Science & Nature – the history of climate fears
Reference pages about other topics appear on the right side menu bar, including About the FM website page.
Some of the posts about global cooling:
- More forecasts of a global cooling cycle, 15 July 2008
- Good news about global warming!, 21 October 2008
- An important letter sent to the President about the danger of climate change, 21 October 2009
- About those headlines from the past century about global cooling…, 2 November 2009
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