Ozone layer depletion: an encumbrance within geoengineering limits

Posted on | november 28, 2011 | No Comments

Image of the largest Antarctic ozone hole ever recorded (September 2006)

Ozone layer depletion is not a joke; it is a serious environmental issue besetting this present world, it got nations to agree to cut the use of gases responsible for it by replacing them with non-harmful ones. Ozone depletion allows harmful ultra violet (UV) rays to pass; this on increased exposure can cause skin cancer, cataract and immune system suppression in humans.

The ozone layer is expected to be repaired naturally by mid – century when most Ozone Depleting Substances (ODSs) there will fizzle out and lost ozone molecules will be replenished in reactions. This time is far away even as evolving environmental issues from the upper atmosphere are getting complicated with new studies and current emission prodigality.

A developing research work on geoengineering ozone layer suggests a procedure to repair the ozone layer aside the sole option of natural repair to come around mid-century. This research mimics the normal process for protection from harmful UV rays occurring at the ozone layer. While avoiding assumptions, the research submits a workable procedure that will give desired results when used.

The research presents that oxygen is conveyed from planet earth and discharged as gas to depleted parts of the ozone layer. Discharged oxygen should join the number of natural existing oxygen molecules in the ozone layer and continue in reactions likewise.

Oxygen is preferred because of its involvement in reactions in the ozone layer and because it is chemically stable than ozone. Oxygen use for this research is similar with rocket engines where it is stored as liquid and passed to a combustion chamber to vaporize & mix with other fuels to power rockets.

A tank of liquid oxygen will be conveyed from planet earth using an airship or an unmanned aircraft; it will fly to depleted parts of the ozone layer where it will discharge oxygen under high pressure as gas while hovering that part of space. Point of discharge is low stratospheric altitude (around 20km above sea level) where wind and turbulence is bearable.

This research is in three phases for review; first is the choice of conveyer and the volume of liquid oxygen tank. Second is the point of discharge in the stratosphere where depletion is observed and ODSs or Green House Gases (GHGs) will not affect the objective of incoming molecules to close ozone depleted parts (or the ozone hole). The third phase of this research is measurements that will show activities of discharged oxygen and its extent of repair.

These phases are not beyond familiar practice in today space and climatic science. Some of the usual measurements of ozone from ground (by brewers or ballonsondes) or from space (by satellites) can tell to some extent activities of oxygen in the ozone layer. These too can help with information on freshly injected gas.

The choice of conveyer is dissected in details here but airships seem to be the best pick. Experimentation of this research is posited for the future giving more time to develop this work and increase observation on conditions aligned with or against phases in this procedure.

Countries around Polar Region may do well to pick this research for review. Canada, Denmark, New Zealand and South Africa, may put to study this work that doesn’t cost so much to gradually affirm as an experiment that will desirably repair depleted parts of the ozone layer.

Ozone Layer Geoengineering (OLG) should not have the risks generally feared for geoengineering because gas will be infixed at a measure that does not exceed total ozone amounts for that part. This safe range will not harm our delicate climate system and will not lead to withdrawal of the process due to an unwanted shift.

We need to begin to prepare and as OLG presents a starting point, a review report describes how this research should come but should move from there to studies on each part of the procedure for adjustments. The Montreal Protocol has to some extent settled ozone depletion but growing deviations in the upper atmosphere and from ground threaten projected repair. Geoengineering the ozone layer is not being talked about widely yet but is an answer to the ozone depletion encumbrance.

AUTHOR: David Stephen
URL: http://www.trpns.com
E-MAIL: Stephen [at] trpns.com


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