The Antarctic Ozone Hole Predicted to Close by 2050

September 17, 2002 11:19 AM   Subscribe

The Antarctic Ozone Hole Predicted to Close by 2050
Australian scientists at CSIRO have confirmed their earlier predictions that the ozone depletion in the Antarctic is slowing, and ozone will steadily increase from 2005 on. The "hole" will close by 2050. "[Paul Fraser, chief of CSIRO, said] 'I think this shows global protocols can work,' ... while acknowledging that 'the economics' of greenhouse gases were far more complex than the CFC issue." (1). An interview with Fraser by ABC is here (2) Some past stories (3, 4).
posted by rschram (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
So I guess the question now is, What are the consequences of 50+ years of ozone depletion over the southern part of the globe? Will it adversly affect krill population or plant life in the oceans? Time will tell.
posted by culberjo at 11:57 AM on September 17, 2002

Culberjo, do you mean ozone repletion? 'Cause they've been studying ozone depletion for awhile now, and they're still not sure; this news may mean they'll get to watch what happens when the trend reverses itself.

This plays into some theories I've heard that the ozone holes are cyclical occurances similar to ice ages and El Nino/La Nina weather patterns. Interesting to see if it really plays out the way they're predicting.
posted by me3dia at 12:19 PM on September 17, 2002

Great....SOMEONE's going to read that and say "See! They said it's better. We don't have to pay attention to it any more [sprays aerosol hairspray].

So the OZONE's doing we just have to worry about the rainforests....the rapidly melting polar ice caps....yay.
posted by bkdelong at 1:36 PM on September 17, 2002

... some theories I've heard that the ozone holes are cyclical occurrences similar to ice ages ...

I remember hearing similar theories many years ago and the theory then was that we were heading for another ice age, which then changed completely to the current global warming theory. I keep meaning to do some research to satisfy my curiosity, but never seem to have time. I have spoken to several people about it and many remember the same theories being proposed about an impending ice age.

Does anyone else remember these theories?
posted by dg at 6:10 PM on September 17, 2002

What I recall, dg, is that we are in an unstable intermediate state between hot and cold that typically does not last much longer than it already has so far. The big triggering factor for these hot-cold cycles appears to be grassland -- grasses reflect more solar energy away from the planet than trees do, so a preponderance of grassland tends to tip the scales towards cooling.
posted by Ptrin at 6:35 PM on September 17, 2002

It isn't wise to make comparisons between ozone depletion and global warming. For starters, the chemistry behind ozone depletion is fairly straightforward and well understood. The Montreal Protocol established a plan to ban the use of CFC's in aerosols and that, over time, has led to the stability and future increase in ozone concentrations above the South Pole.

Anthropogenic global warming is a much trickier beast to tackle, and despite what you read in the media, the science is not well understood at all. There are many mechanisms involved in driving global climate change and most of them are not human induced.
posted by alrob at 1:07 AM on September 18, 2002

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