Posted on | augustus 3, 2012 | No Comments
Parts of the earth’s ozone layer are depleted, because of the action of ozone depletion substances (mainly chlorofluorocarbons). These substances, from the period the world agreed to phase them out, till present, continue to be problem for the ozone layer and will, into the future.
Scientists, aside focus on these substances have studied factors that complement their action; such as wind, temperature, and gases, as catalysts for chemical reactions. Some of the studies have brought realities to challenges the ozone layer may face in future, making the mid-century projection for turnaround repair, shaky.
One study published last week, linked storms to ozone layer depletion over the States. The study pointed to water vapor, sent into the stratosphere by storms, as a catalyst to ozone destroying reactions by chlorofluorocarbon. This possibility puts the ozone layer at the edge of depletion by future storms, in regions inhabited by humans. Contrary to Arctic and Antarctica, where ozone hole reoccurs and just researchers stay.
The study was funded by NASA, and was limited to the States. It however, may be same if studied elsewhere. Global warming is known to trigger these storms; since it is on the rise, will likely cause ozone depletion over regions. This risk now requires the world to look at what can be done to repair the ozone layer artificially.
Global warming is a big problem, increase in emission of gases responsible may lead to a new average, for the earth’s temperature. There are suggested procedures, classed as climate engineering, to reduce this risk if necessary in future. One of the procedures is ‘aerosol injection’ to the stratosphere, to disperse inbound solar rays.
This process puts sulphate particles in the stratosphere, which is another catalyst for ozone destruction reactions. The possibility that storm-fury and large scale aerosol-injection are likely in future, says one thing, look into techniques that will benefit repair of the ozone layer.
There is a small technique towards this, presenting to inject oxygen gas, into the ozone layer, to join in reactions that become ozone, at depleted areas. The research is based on the argument that, oxygen released from ozone destruction reactions by chlorofluorocarbons becomes dormant, reducing total reactive oxygen amounts.
Oxygen will be carried as liquid from earth, by unmanned aircrafts, and discharged as gas at low stratospheric altitude. It will be injected at preferred areas shown from computer models, to have low amounts of chlorofluorocarbons or unfavorable conditions. A few flights will do at a given time, and does not carry substantial risk for the climate system or for regions.
Ozone repair tests or research may also provide insight into atmospheric chemistry of what happens to oxygen liberated from ozone destruction reactions; to see into how they may be catalyzed to go into reactions, faster if usually delayed, or active if permanently inactive.
Freshly injected oxygen will be active and grow the number of ozone molecules available to protect us from harmful ultra violet rays from the sun. Expanding climate engineering, beyond saving from global warming catastrophe, to repair the ozone layer, is now important.
AUTHOR: David Stephen
E-MAIL: Stephen [at] trpns.com