‘Ozone hole’ shenanigans were the warm-up act for ‘Global Warming’

The saga is told in four stories in 12 years. The world had already spent billions to change from CFCs like Freon based on flawed science rushed after newly available imagery from satellites showing the ozone hole developing at the peak of the Antarctic cold season. We start with a story in 2011, following a story in Nature ignored by scientists and the media from 2007 that the theory was flawed and one from Australia in 2008 suggesting in might be cosmic rays not CFCs. We end with a story from NASA in fall 2019 when a strong stratospheric warming event produced the smallest ozone hole in the satellite era. You see it is really the formation of ice in the very cold air that gobbles up ozone not CFCs.

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By Joseph D’Aleo, CCM, AMS Fellow

Friday, January 07, 2011 Icecap.us

Dr. Wil Happer of Princeton wrote “The Montreal Protocol to ban freons was the warm-up exercise for the IPCC.  Many current IPCC players gained fame then by stampeding the US Congress into supporting the Montreal Protocol. They learned to use dramatized, phony scientific claims like “ozone holes over Kennebunkport” (President Bush Sr’s seaside residence in New England). The ozone crusade also had business opportunities for firms like Dupont to market proprietary “ozone-friendly” refrigerants at much better prices than the conventional (and more easily used) freons that had long-since lost patent protection and were not a cheap commodity with little profit potential” (link).

Even James Lovelock agrees. James Lovelock formulated the Gaia hypothesis, which postulates that the biosphere is a self-regulating entity with the capacity to keep our planet healthy by controlling the chemical and physical environment. He later became concerned that global warming would upset the balance and leave only the arctic as habitable. He began to move off this position in 2007 suggesting that the Earth itself is in “no danger” because it would stabilize in a new state.

James Lovelock’s reaction to first reading about the leaked CRU emails in late 2009 was one of a true scientist. “I was utterly disgusted. My second thought was that it was inevitable. It was bound to happen. Science, not so very long ago, pre-1960s, was largely vocational. Back when I was young, I didn’t want to do anything else other than be a scientist. They’re not like that nowadays. They don’t give a damn. They go to these massive, mass-produced universities and churn them out. They say: “Science is a good career. You can get a job for life doing government work.” That’s no way to do science.

I have seen this happen before, of course. We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.

Fudging the data in any way whatsoever is quite literally a sin against the holy ghost of science. I’m not religious, but I put it that way because I feel so strongly. It’s the one thing you do not ever do. You’ve got to have standards.”

On a March 2010 Guardian interview, Lovelock opined “The great climate science centres around the world are more than well aware how weak their science is. If you talk to them privately they’re scared stiff of the fact that they don’t really know what the clouds and the aerosols are doing…We do need skepticism about the predictions about what will happen to the climate in 50 years, or whatever. It’s almost naive, scientifically speaking, to think we can give relatively accurate predictions for future climate. There are so many unknowns that it’s wrong to do it.”

Will Happer further elaborated “The Montreal Protocol may not have been necessary to save the ozone, but it had limited economic damage. It has caused much more damage in the way it has corrupted science. It showed how quickly a scientist or activist can gain fame and fortune by purporting to save planet earth.  We have the same situation with CO2 now, but CO2 is completely natural, unlike freons. Planet earth is quite happy to have lots more CO2 than current values, as the geological record clearly shows.  If the jihad against CO2 succeeds, there will be enormous economic damage, and even worse consequences for human liberty at the hands of the successful jihadists.”

LIKE GLOBAL WARMING THE DATA DOESN’T SUPPORT THE THEORY

The ozone hole has not closed off after we banned CFCs. See this story in Nature about how the Consensus about the Ozone Hole and Man’s Role (with CFCs) May Be Falling Apart.

OZONEHOLE
The size of the hole has hardly changed since 1990 (enlarged here).

“As the world marks 20 years since the introduction of the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, Nature has learned of experimental data that threaten to shatter established theories of ozone chemistry. If the data are right, scientists will have to rethink their understanding of how ozone holes are formed and how that relates to climate change. Markus Rex, an atmosphere scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany, did a double-take when he saw new data for the break-down rate of a crucial molecule, dichlorine peroxide (Cl2O2). The rate of photolysis (light-activated splitting) of this molecule reported by chemists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California1, was extremely low in the wavelengths available in the stratosphere – almost an order of magnitude lower than the currently accepted rate.

“This must have far-reaching consequences,” Rex says. “If the measurements are correct we can basically no longer say we understand how ozone holes come into being.” What effect the results have on projections of the speed or extent of ozone depletion remains unclear.

Other groups have yet to confirm the new photolysis rate, but the conundrum is already causing much debate and uncertainty in the ozone research community. “Our understanding of chloride chemistry has really been blown apart,” says John Crowley, an ozone researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany. “Until recently everything looked like it fitted nicely,” agrees Neil Harris, an atmosphere scientist who heads the European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit at the University of Cambridge, UK. “Now suddenly it’s like a plank has been pulled out of a bridge.”

STILL COMING

Yet like the cultists whose spacecraft didn’t arrive on the announced date, the government scientists find ways to postpone it and save their reputations (examples “Increasing greenhouse gases could delay, or even postpone indefinitely the recovery of stratospheric ozone in some regions of the Earth, a Johns Hopkins earth scientist suggests” here and “Scientists Find Antarctic Ozone Hole to Recover Later than Expected” here.

“The warmers are getting more and more like those traditional predictors of the end of the world who, when the event fails to happen on the due date, announce an error in their calculations and a new date.” Dr. John Brignell, Emeritus Engineering Professor at the University of Southampton, on Number Watch (May 1) PDF

Posted on 01/07 at 04:33 PM

Oct 03, 2007, Icecap.us

Scientific Consensus on Man-Made Ozone Hole May Be Coming Apart

Nature

As the world marks 20 years since the introduction of the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, Nature has learned of experimental data that threaten to shatter established theories of ozone chemistry. If the data are right, scientists will have to rethink their understanding of how ozone holes are formed and how that relates to climate change.

Markus Rex, an atmosphere scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany, did a double-take when he saw new data for the break-down rate of a crucial molecule, dichlorine peroxide (Cl2O2). The rate of photolysis (light-activated splitting) of this molecule reported by chemists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California1, was extremely low in the wavelengths available in the stratosphere – almost an order of magnitude lower than the currently accepted rate.

“This must have far-reaching consequences,” Rex says. “If the measurements are correct we can basically no longer say we understand how ozone holes come into being.” What effect the results have on projections of the speed or extent of ozone depletion remains unclear.

Other groups have yet to confirm the new photolysis rate, but the conundrum is already causing much debate and uncertainty in the ozone research community. “Our understanding of chloride chemistry has really been blown apart,” says John Crowley, an ozone researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.

“Until recently everything looked like it fitted nicely,” agrees Neil Harris, an atmosphere scientist who heads the European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit at the University of Cambridge, UK. “Now suddenly it’s like a plank has been pulled out of a bridge.” Post is here.

Study: Solar Wind Influenced Cosmic Rays Not CFCs Produce Ozone Hole

Exchange Morning Post, 2008

New theory predicts the largest ozone hole over Antarctica will occur this month.

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, says 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 says 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 says.

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 says 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. See story here.

Well the cosmic rays are are century high levels and the ozone hole set a new record low. So it is more likely the warming in the Antarctic stratosphere is to blame.

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Tho other hemisphere:

Meanwhile in the arctic a deep cold stratosphere developed with temperatures as low as -97C in January, coldest in 40 years.

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Incredible ice clouds formed in the frigid air. In the antarctic they would have feasted on ozone.

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NASA,Oct. 21, 2019

2019 Ozone Hole is the Smallest on Record Since Its Discovery

Scientists from NASA and NOAA work together to track the ozone layer throughout the year and determine when the hole reaches its annual maximum extent. This year, unusually strong weather patterns caused warm temperatures in the upper atmosphere above the South Pole region of Antarctic, which resulted in a small ozone hole.
Credits: NASA Goddard/ Katy Mersmann

The annual ozone hole reached its peak extent of 6.3 million square miles (16. 4 million square kilometers) on Sept. 8, and then shrank to less than 3.9 million square miles (10 million square kilometers) for the remainder of September and October, according to NASA and NOAA satellite measurements. During years with normal weather conditions, the ozone hole typically grows to a maximum area of about 8 million square miles in late September or early October.

“It’s great news for ozone in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “But it’s important to recognize that what we’re seeing this year is due to warmer stratospheric temperatures. It’s not a sign that atmospheric ozone is suddenly on a fast track to recovery.”

Ozone is a highly reactive molecule comprised of three oxygen atoms that occurs naturally in small amounts. Roughly seven to 25 miles above Earth’s surface, in a layer of the atmosphere called the stratosphere, the ozone layer is a sunscreen, shielding the planet from potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin cancer and cataracts, suppress immune systems and also damage plants.

The Antarctic ozone hole forms during the Southern Hemisphere’s late winter as the returning Sun’s rays start ozone-depleting reactions. These reactions involve chemically active forms of chlorine and bromine derived from man-made compounds. The chemistry that leads to their formation involves chemical reactions that occur on the surfaces of cloud particles that form in cold stratospheric layers, leading ultimately to runaway reactions that destroy ozone molecules. In warmer temperatures fewer polar stratospheric clouds form and they don’t persist as long, limiting the ozone-depletion process.

NASA and NOAA monitor the ozone hole via complementary instrumental methods.

Satellites, including NASA’s Aura satellite, the NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite and NOAA’s Joint Polar Satellite System NOAA-20 satellite, measure ozone from space. The Aura satellite’s Microwave Limb Sounder also estimates levels of ozone-destroying chlorine in the stratosphere.

At the South Pole, NOAA staff launch weather balloons carrying ozone-measuring “sondes” which directly sample ozone levels vertically through the atmosphere. Most years, at least some levels of the stratosphere, the region of the upper atmosphere where the largest amounts of ozone are normally found, are found to be completely devoid of ozone.

“This year, ozonesonde measurements at the South Pole did not show any portions of the atmosphere where ozone was completely depleted,” said atmospheric scientist Bryan Johnson at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado.

Uncommon but not unprecedented

This is the third time in the last 40 years that weather systems have caused warm temperatures that limit ozone depletion, said Susan Strahan, an atmospheric scientist with Universities Space Research Association, who works at NASA Goddard. Similar weather patterns in the Antarctic stratosphere in September 1988 and 2002 also produced atypically small ozone holes, she said.

“It’s a rare event that we’re still trying to understand,” said Strahan. “If the warming hadn’t happened, we’d likely be looking at a much more typical ozone hole.”

There is no identified connection between the occurrence of these unique patterns and changes in climate.

The weather systems that disrupted the 2019 ozone hole are typically modest in September, but this year they were unusually strong, dramatically warming the Antarctic’s stratosphere during the pivotal time for ozone destruction. At an altitude of about 12 miles (20 kilometers), temperatures during September were 29 degrees F (16˚C) warmer than average, the warmest in the 40-year historical record for September by a wide margin. In addition, these weather systems also weakened the Antarctic polar vortex, knocking it off its normal center over the South Pole and reducing the strong September jet stream around Antarctica from a mean speed of 161 miles per hour to a speed of 67 miles per hour. This slowing vortex rotation allowed air to sink in the lower stratosphere where ozone depletion occurs, where it had two impacts.

First, the sinking warmed the Antarctic lower stratosphere, minimizing the formation and persistence of the polar stratospheric clouds that are a main ingredient in the ozone-destroying process. Second, the strong weather systems brought ozone-rich air from higher latitudes elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere to the area above the Antarctic ozone hole. These two effects led to much higher than normal ozone levels over Antarctica compared to ozone hole conditions usually present since the mid 1980s.

As of October 16, the ozone hole above Antarctica remained small but stable and is expected to gradually dissipate in the coming weeks.

Robert Schwarz/University of Minnesota
This time-lapse photo from Sept. 9, 2019, shows the flight path of an ozonesonde as it rises into the atmosphere over the South Pole from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Scientists release these balloon-borne sensors to measure the thickness of the protective ozone layer high up in the atmosphere.
Credits: Robert Schwarz/University of Minnesota

Antarctic ozone slowly decreased in the 1970s, with large seasonal ozone deficits appearing in the early 1980s. Researchers at the British Antarctic Survey discovered the ozone hole in 1985, and NASA’s satellite estimates of total column ozone from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer confirmed the 1985 event, revealing the ozone hole’s continental scale.

Thirty-two years ago, the international community signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. This agreement regulated the consumption and production of ozone-depleting compounds. Atmospheric levels of man-made ozone depleting substances increased up to the year 2000. Since then, they have slowly declined but remain high enough to produce significant ozone loss. The ozone hole over Antarctica is expected to gradually become less severe as chlorofluorocarbons— banned chlorine-containing synthetic compounds that were once frequently used as coolants—continue to decline. Scientists expect the Antarctic ozone to recover back to the 1980 level around 2070.

To learn more about NOAA and NASA efforts to monitor the ozone and ozone-depleting gases, visit:

https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/

https://www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/stratosphere/polar/polar.shtml

https://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/dv/spo_oz/

Banner Image: The 2019 ozone hole reached its peak extent of 6.3 million square miles (16. 4 million square kilometers) on Sept. 8. Abnormal weather patterns in the upper atmosphere over Antarctica dramatically limited ozone depletion this year. Credit: NASA

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