Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Changes In Ozone Layer Offer Hope For Improvement, Says Team Of Scientists

Date:
August 31, 2005
Source:
University of Chicago
Summary:
Analysis of several different satellite records and surface monitoring instruments indicates that the ozone layer is no longer declining, according to a study by scientists working with the Center for Integrating Statistical and Environmental Science at the University of Chicago. In some parts of the world, the ozone layer has increased a small amount in the past few years, although it is still well below normal levels.

Analysis of several different satellite records and surface monitoringinstruments indicates that the ozone layer is no longer declining,according to a study by scientists working with the Center forIntegrating Statistical and Environmental Science (CISES) at theUniversity of Chicago.

In some parts of the world, the ozone layer has increased a smallamount in the past few years, although it still well below normallevels.

The results will be published Aug. 31 in the Journal of GeophysicalResearch and follow 18 years after an international agreement, theMontreal Protocol, was established to limit the production of chemicalsdetermined to be harmful to the atmosphere.

The work, funded by the National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration andthe Environmental Protection Agency, is a collaboration betweenatmospheric scientists and statisticians through CISES. "The work ofthis team of scientists and statisticians is widely recognized as someof the most authoritative in the statistical analysis of stratosphericozone," said Michael Stein, director of CISES at the University ofChicago.

"These early signs indicate one of the strongest successstories of international cooperation in the face of an environmentalthreat," said retired Navy Vice Adm. Conrad C. Lautenbacher, Ph.D.,undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAAadministrator.

For the past few years, studies have focused on ozone decliningin the topmost layer of the atmosphere where there is naturally verylittle ozone. However, this study addresses the total ozone columnlayer that has significant impact on how much ultraviolet radiation iscoming through the atmosphere, said BetsyWeatherhead of the University of Colorado.

"Our work focuses on the thickness of the ozone layer and is thereforerelevant to the amount of harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation reachingthe surface of the Earth," said Weatherhead, a co-author on the paper.

Overexposure to UV radiation can cause an increase in skin cancers andcataracts in the eyes. Scientists warn that skin and eye precautions,such as wearing sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses, still needto be taken.

"This news about the ozone layer is encouraging, but people should notget a false sense of security. Ultraviolet radiation is still dangerousand we urge people to be 'sun smart' when outdoors," said dermatologistClay J. Cockerell, M.D., president of the American Academy ofDermatology.

Scientists say that ozone in some areas is still quite low compared tohistorical times and that the return of ozone to normal levels will beslow--likely taking several decades. The chemicals responsible for theozone depletion can take years to filter up to the stratosphere, wheremost of the ozone is located, said Weatherhead.

"Some of these chemicals remain in the stratosphere for many decades,meaning that chemicals produced years ago will continue to be harmfulfor decades to come," said Sherwood Rowland, who, along with MarioMolina and Paul Crutzen, won the 1995 Nobel Prize in chemistry fortheir work identifying the threat to the ozone layer.

Other factors can affect the recovery process, such as changes intemperature, clouds, volcanic particles, water vapor, methane, andnatural variability. Internationally, scientists continue to work tounderstand the recent changes and the likely future concentrations ofozone.

The lead author of the study, Greg Reinsel of the University ofWisconsin-Madison, was one of the first scientists to quantify thedecline in ozone in research papers published more than 20 years ago.

He died unexpectedly after completing this study, the first to show theleveling off of the total ozone layer, Weatherhead said. "The findingof positive signs about the ozone layer represents a bittersweetculmination to over twenty years of effort by Greg and his colleagues,"said Michael Stein.

###

Other co-authors are Alvin Miller, Lawrence Flynn, and Ron Nagatanifrom NOAA, George Tiao, Professor Emeritus in the Graduate School ofBusiness at the University of Chicago, and Don Wuebbles of theUniversity of Illinois.

The Center for Integrating Statistical and Environmental Science wasestablished in 2002. Affiliated with a number of universities andfederal agencies, the center develops multidisciplinary statisticalmethods for more precise environmental risk assessments. CISES iswholly funded through a Science to Achieve Results (STAR) grant fromthe United States EPA.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago. "Changes In Ozone Layer Offer Hope For Improvement, Says Team Of Scientists." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050831074639.htm>.
University of Chicago. (2005, August 31). Changes In Ozone Layer Offer Hope For Improvement, Says Team Of Scientists. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050831074639.htm
University of Chicago. "Changes In Ozone Layer Offer Hope For Improvement, Says Team Of Scientists." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050831074639.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Will Climate Rallies Spur Change?

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) Organizers of the People's Climate March and other rallies taking place in 166 countries hope to move U.N. officials to action ahead of their summit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN's Ban: Climate Change 'defining Issue of Our Time'

UN's Ban: Climate Change 'defining Issue of Our Time'

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 21, 2014) United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon marches with hundreds of thousands of people in New York for the international day of action on climate change. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

Climate Change Rally Held in India Ahead of UN Summit

AFP (Sep. 20, 2014) Some 125 world leaders are expected to commit to action on climate change at a UN summit Tuesday called to inject momentum in struggling efforts to tackle global warming. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
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