Ozone layer hits record thickness in Sweden: Was there ever an ozone hole problem?

Lately there has been an increasing view that some of the catastrophe scenarios about the ozone hole which led to the Montreal Protocol of 1989 were exagerrated and based on poor science. The effects of humans on ozone variations as opposed to natural variations may have been exaggerated. In fact there are now some suggestions that the actions taken were not only unnecessary but that they have not had much to do with the natural increase of ozone layer thickness observed in recent times.

The Local reports:

Sweden’s government weather agency reported on Friday that the ozone layer over southern Sweden reached its thickest levels at the end of last year, surpassing the previous record set in 1991.

Sweden’s Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (Sveriges Meteorologiska och Hydrologiska Institut, SMHI) explained that the weather was particularly favourable at the end of 2010 and it explain why the ozone layer was especially thick at the time. “It is a step in the right direction, but it is still too early to say that the ozone layer has recovered. The favourable weather situation over the last few months has contributed to a record high,” said Weine Josefsson, a meteorologist at SMHI, in a statement on Friday.
The annual value of the ozone layer’s thickness over Norrköping in 2010 stood at a new high of 351.7 Dobson units (DU). The previous record was set in 1991 at 341.8 DU. The November and December values in particular set new records among the measurements regularly made at SMHI since 1988. ……….  Even in Norrland in the country’s north, the values have been positive in the last year. The ozone layer has been measured regularly in Vindeln northwest of Umeå in northern Sweden since 1991 and the latest results were also positive in this area.
However, it is not possible to record complete ozone measurements in the winter, so it is uncertain whether a record was set there as well at the end of last year. In November and December, air flows were affected by a special weather situation over western Europe, resulting in an extra thick ozone layer over this part of the world in these two months.
It is possible that the restrictions on ozone-depleting substances proposed in the Montreal Protocol in 1987 have also contributed to the thickening of the ozone layer. However, this type of measure is effective over a long period of time and it is difficult to distinguish the effect of natural variations in this case.

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One Response to “Ozone layer hits record thickness in Sweden: Was there ever an ozone hole problem?”

  1. Chris Cohen – Going Green me est? killing | Green Living Tips | Information and Free Resources | Says:

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