Atmosphere And Weather

Can Ozone Depletion and Greenhouse Warming Combine to Produce Rapid Climate Change

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When ozone depletion combines with greenhouse gases, researchers tell us that climate change will occur. The reason why they are so concerned about carbon in the air is that when this occurs, harmful UV rays can enter the environment. Greenhouse gases make up much of the atmosphere on Venus and Mars. Greenhouse gases affect how hot and cold the temperature is.

Greenhouse gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and ozone. An increase in carbon dioxide gas will most change what happens with the weather. Water vapor is the only non-threatening greenhouse gas. The others all have a very long lifetime and can do extensive damage to the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide stays in the atmosphere up from 30 to 95 years. Methane and its sub-elements are highly dangerous to the atmosphere over time. The longer lifetime of these elements is its ability to mix with other elements in the environment thereby adding to its lifetime.

Ozone depletion refers to two different, but related phenomena: a decrease in the total amount of ozone in the stratosphere and a decrease also in the stratosphere at the North and South Poles. When this happens, Earth receives less solar radiation causes the atmosphere to remain cool.

Greenhouse gases control temperature. Without them, temperatures could fall by 59 degrees F. With an increase in carbon dioxide, a decrease in temperature, results.

Drew Shindell and Gavin Schmidt published a report that suggests that either ozone depletion or greenhouse gases are responsible for changes in climate. However, as the test changes so do the results from the test. This question leads to uncertain answers. These scientists suggest that the ozone hole will recover over time, but probably not in human lifetimes. It is terribly hard to predict what will happen in the future regarding climate.

Ozone holes can affect the environment negatively not only with the weather, but also with factors such as health. Holes allow UV rays to enter the atmosphere causing illness, especially cancers, to humans and plants. Greenhouse gases can make small holes in the ozone larger. The more chemicals reach the stratosphere, the more depletion can occur.

A look at the chemistry of the whole process is necessary to fully understand this process. Start with the building block of halogen and follow it all the way through the atmosphere and stratosphere and to the ozone layer. NASA and the two scientists Shindell and Schmidt used the circulation model to do this. Using this model, they found that the vortex over the Arctic, during the winter, to break up. This allows warmer air to enter the lower latitudes, thus mixing with cooler air creating changes in the weather patterns.

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