AUG 09, 2022 10:15 AM PDT

Tropical ozone hole larger than Antarctic ozone hole

In a recent single-author study published in AIP Advances, Qing-Bin Lu, a scientist from the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, discusses a large and year-round ozone hole presiding in the lower stratosphere over the tropics (30°N-30°S) that has existed since the 1980s. An ozone hole is interpreted as an area of ozone loss greater than 25% when compared to the undisturbed atmosphere. While the depth of this tropical ozone hole is the same as the well-known springtime Antarctic ozone hole, it possesses an area approximately seven times greater than the latter.

"The tropics constitute half the planet's surface area and are home to about half the world's population," said Lu. "The existence of the tropical ozone hole may cause a great global concern. The depletion of the ozone layer can lead to increased ground-level UV radiation, which can increase risk of skin cancer and cataracts in humans, as well as weaken human immune systems, decrease agricultural productivity, and negatively affect sensitive aquatic organisms and ecosystems."

Like the Antarctic ozone hole, this tropics ozone hole was observed to have a decrease of about 80% of its normal ozone value at the center of the hole. Previous studies indicate ozone reduction levels over corresponding equatorial regions are already putting large populations in danger while the corresponding UV radiation reaching these locations is far larger than expected.

Lu says his findings hope to give us a better understanding of climate change while explaining that the polar and tropical ozone holes play a major role in regulating both regulating and cooling stratospheric temperatures.

"The present discovery calls for further careful studies of ozone depletion, UV radiation change, increased cancer risks, and other negative effects on health and ecosystems in the tropical regions," explains Lu.

The study states that its findings “…will have significances in understanding planetary physics, ozone depletion, climate change, and human health.”

Sources: AIP Advances

As always, keep doing science & keep looking up!

MSc in Geological Sciences
Laurence Tognetti is a six-year USAF Veteran who earned both a BSc and MSc from the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. Laurence is extremely passionate about outer space and science communication, and is the author of “Outer Solar System Moons: Your Personal 3D Journey”.
You May Also Like
AUG 12, 2022
Earth & The Environment
Humans, not climate, contributed to mammal community similarities 10,000+ years ago
AUG 12, 2022
Humans, not climate, contributed to mammal community similarities 10,000+ years ago
In a recent study published in Nature Communications, an international team of researchers discuss how the increasing ho ...
AUG 24, 2022
Microbiology
This Bizarre Spiky Sack Turns Out Not to be Our Earliest Ancestor
AUG 24, 2022
This Bizarre Spiky Sack Turns Out Not to be Our Earliest Ancestor
It was once hypothesized that a strange, microscopic creature called Saccorhytus, a spiked animal with no anus, was the ...
AUG 23, 2022
Technology
An Environmentally Friendly Air Conditioner
AUG 23, 2022
An Environmentally Friendly Air Conditioner
It’s getting harder and harder to beat the summer heat. Across the globe, temperatures are rising. While global te ...
AUG 24, 2022
Plants & Animals
Threat Assessment of U.S Trees Provides Blueprint for Conservation Efforts
AUG 24, 2022
Threat Assessment of U.S Trees Provides Blueprint for Conservation Efforts
Extinction rates have accelerated around the globe. Changes in climate and habitat loss, in particular, are driving more ...
SEP 20, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Astronomers Develop Novel Technique to Locate Baby Planets
SEP 20, 2022
Astronomers Develop Novel Technique to Locate Baby Planets
In a recent study published in The Astrophysical Journal Letters, an international team of researchers have created a no ...
SEP 21, 2022
Space & Astronomy
Are Water Worlds Common?
SEP 21, 2022
Are Water Worlds Common?
A study recently published in Science suggests that many exoplanets have larger amounts of water than previously thought ...
Loading Comments...