Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Scientists Find Ozone-destroying Molecule

Date:
February 5, 2004
Source:
American Geophysical Union
Summary:
For years, scientists theorized that a molecule called ClOOCl in the stratosphere played a key role in destroying ozone. Now, using measurements from a NASA aircraft laboratory flying over the Arctic, Harvard scientist Rick Stimpfle and colleagues observed the molecule for the first time.

WASHINGTON - For years, scientists theorized that a molecule called ClOOCl in the stratosphere played a key role in destroying ozone. Now, using measurements from a NASA aircraft laboratory flying over the Arctic, Harvard scientist Rick Stimpfle and colleagues observed the molecule for the first time. They report their discovery in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, published by the American Geophysical Union.

"We knew from observations dating from 1987, that the high ozone loss was linked with high [levels of] chlorine monoxide, but we had never actually detected the ClOOCl before," Stimpfle said in an interview. The common name atmospheric scientists use for ClOOCl, he said, is "chlorine dimer"--two identical chlorine-based molecules, ClO or chlorine monoxide--bonded together. The rare dimer exists only in the particularly cold stratosphere over polar regions where chlorine monoxide levels are relatively high. "Most of the chlorine in the stratosphere," Stimpfle adds, "continues to come from human-induced sources."

ClOOCl triggers ozone destruction, he explains, in three basic steps:

1. ClOOCl absorbs sunlight and breaks into two chlorine atoms and an oxygen molecule.

2. The two chlorine atoms react with two ozone molecules, forming two chlorine monoxide molecules and two oxygen molecules.

3. The two chlorine monoxide molecules then react with each other to reform ClOOCl.

"You are now back to where you started with respect to the ClOOCl molecule," Stimpfle says, "but in the process you have converted two ozone molecules into three oxygen molecules. This is the definition of ozone loss."

These results were acquired during a joint US-European science mission, SOLVE/THESEO-2000, based in Kiruna, Sweden, from November 1999 to March 2000. A NASA ER-2 aircraft--essentially a U2--flew into Russian air space for the first time with the cooperation of Russian authorities, Stimpfle says, for the purpose of collecting scientific data of interest to the world community. The instrument used to measure ClOOCl was designed to detect several important inorganic chlorine species and was housed in a wing pod of the ER-2. This work was funded by the NASA Upper Atmospheric Research Program.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Geophysical Union. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Geophysical Union. "Scientists Find Ozone-destroying Molecule." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040204000415.htm>.
American Geophysical Union. (2004, February 5). Scientists Find Ozone-destroying Molecule. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040204000415.htm
American Geophysical Union. "Scientists Find Ozone-destroying Molecule." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040204000415.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Operators of recreational businesses on western reservoirs worry that ongoing drought concerns will keep boaters and other visitors from flocking to the popular summer attractions. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Ark. Man Finds 6-Carat Diamond At State Park

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) An Arkansas man has found a nearly 6.2-carat diamond, which he dubbed "The Limitless Diamond," at the Crater of Diamonds State Park. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins