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02. Ozone in Nature

Ozone in Nature

2012-06-13. Do volcanoes destroy the ozone layer? | by  AmazingPlanet Staff, The Christian Science Monitor. Excerpt: A large eruption in the volcanically active region of Central America could release enough ozone-depleting gases to significantly thin the ozone layer for several years, researchers announced today (June 12). Such a volcanic eruption could double or triple the current levels of the chemical elements bromine and chlorine in the stratosphere, the upper atmosphere layer where ozone gas protects us from ultraviolet radiation, the researchers calculated, based on the levels of these chemicals released from 14 volcanoes in Nicaragua over the past 70,000 years.  The researchers presented their work at a scientific conference in Iceland.…. Read the full article: http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2012/0613/Do-volcanoes-destroy-the-ozone-layer

18 May 2010. BBC News. Invasive plant 'increases ozone pollution'. By Mark Kinver. …Researchers found that nitric oxide (NO) emissions, a component in the formation of ozone, doubled in soils where the invasive kudzu was present.
…The team of US-based researchers says it is the first study to quantify a link between an invasive plant and a reduction in air quality.
…The findings suggested that the plants' NOx emissions could result in a 35% increase in the number of days when ozone levels exceeded the upper threshold set by the US Environment Protection Agency.
…While the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere plays an important role in limiting harmful ultraviolet light reaching the Earth's surface, low-level ozone is a pollutant that is harmful, causing respiratory problems in animals as well as well-documented cases in humans.

15 December 2004. NASA RELEASE: 04-397. NASA Scientists Discuss Giant Atmospheric Brown Cloud. NASA scientists announced a giant, smoggy atmospheric brown cloud, which forms over South Asia and the Indian Ocean, has intercontinental reach. The scientists presented their findings today during the American Geophysical Union Fall meeting in San Francisco. The scientists discussed the massive cloud's sources, global movement and its implications. The brown cloud is a moving, persistent air mass characterized by a mixed-particle haze. It also contains other pollution, such as ozone. "Ozone is a triple-threat player in the global environment. There are three very different ways ozone affects our lives," said Robert Chatfield, a scientist at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. "A protective layer of good ozone, high in the atmosphere, shields us from deadly ultraviolet light that comes from the sun. Second, bad or smog ozone near the surface of Earth can burn our lungs and damage crops. In our study, we are looking at a third major effect of ozone, that it can warm the planet, because it is a powerful greenhouse gas," Chatfield said. "We found both brown cloud pollution and natural processes can contribute to unhealthy levels of ozone in the troposphere where we live and breathe. Some ozone from the brown cloud rises to high enough altitudes to spread over the global atmosphere," Chatfield explained. Ozone from the Earth's protective stratospheric layer, produced by natural processes, can migrate down to contribute to concentrations in the lower atmosphere, according to the scientists.


3 December 2003. NASA RELEASE: 03-394. The Measure Of Water: NASA Creates New Map For The Atmosphere. ...Scientists have created the first detailed map of water, containing heavy hydrogen and heavy oxygen atoms, in and out of clouds, from the surface to some 25 miles above the Earth, to better understand the dynamics of how water gets into the stratosphere. Only small amounts of water reach the arid stratosphere, 10 to 50 kilometers (6 to 25 miles) above Earth, so any increase in the water content could potentially lead to destruction of some ozone-shielding capability in this part of the atmosphere. This could produce larger ozone depletions over the North and South Poles as well as at mid-latitudes. ...[water] in the lower atmosphere, the troposphere, controls how much sunlight gets through to the planet, how much is trapped in our skies, and how much goes back out to space.

January 2001. Ozone. (FS-2001-1-014-GSFC) [191KB PDF] Ozone (O3) is a relatively unstable molecule made up of three atoms of oxygen (O). Although it represents only a tiny fraction of the atmosphere, ozone is crucial for life on Earth. Earth Portal section on Atmospheric composition and structure



 
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