Posts Tagged ‘Meteorology’

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

January 9, 2011

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.

With a “good” monsoon in the bag Indian GDP should exceed 11%

October 11, 2010

The 4 month monsoon season in India ended on 30th September and total rainfall was 2% over the long term average, about 25% higher than last year and about 5% above the long range forecast made in the spring.


Total rainfall 2010 Monsoon: IMD


Expectations that a good monsoon could lead to double digit growth are stronger with the IMF now predicting a 9.7% growth rate for the calendar year 2010.

“India’s macroeconomic performance has been vigorous, with industrial production at a two-year high. Leading indicators — the production manufacturing index and measures of business and consumer confidence — continue to point up,” the IMF said.

“Growth is projected at 9.7 per cent in 2010 and 8.4 per cent in 2011, led increasingly by domestic demand. Robust corporate profits and favorable external financing will encourage investment,” it said.

“Recent activity (10 per cent year-over year growth in real GDP at market prices in the second quarter) was driven largely by investment and the contribution from net exports is projected to turn negative in 2011 as the strength in investment further boosts imports,” the IMF said.

But in spite of the IMF’s caveat on net exports turning down, I think the trickle-down effects of a good monsoon may have been under-estimated. Agricultural growth which was low should pick up and domestic demand will ensure the industrial growth continues. For the Fiscal Year 2010/11 (till 31st March 2011) I fully expect that the GDP will grow by just over 11%.

The establishing La Niña probably helped the monsoon somewhat.

A “moderate to strong” La Niña, which appeared in July, was now well estabished according to the WMO, and forecasts showed “rather a strengthening of this La Niña episode for the next four to six months.” La Niña is characterised by unusually cool ocean temperatures in the eastern equatorial Pacific and has been associated with strong rainfall in Asia and Australia, bitter cold snaps in North America, as well as drought in South America.


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