(p. A4) Nearly three decades after the world banned chemicals that were destroying the atmosphere’s protective ozone layer, scientists said Thursday that there were signs the atmosphere was on the mend.
The researchers said they had found “fingerprints” indicating that the seasonal ozone hole over Antarctica, a cause of concern since it was discovered in 1984, was getting smaller.
. . .
“This is just the beginning of what is a long process,” said Susan Solomon, an atmospheric chemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and lead author of the study, published in the journal Science.
. . .
Ozone depletion is a complex process that is affected by variables like temperature, wind and volcanic activity. So Dr. Solomon and the other researchers looked at data from satellites and balloon-borne instruments taken each September. That made it easier to separate the effects of the decline in chlorine atoms from the other factors. They also compared the data with the results of computer models.
The study found that the ozone hole had shrunk by about 1.5 million square miles, or about one-third the area of the United States, from 2000 to 2015.
For the full story, see:
HENRY FOUNTAIN. “Ozone Hole Shows Signs of Shrinking, Study Shows.” The New York Times (Fri., July 1, 2016): A4.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date JUNE 30, 2016, and has the title “Ozone Hole Shows Signs of Shrinking, Scientists Say.”)
The academic paper in Science, mentioned above, is:
Solomon, Susan, Diane J. Ivy, Doug Kinnison, Michael J. Mills, Ryan R. Neely, and Anja Schmidt. “Emergence of Healing in the Antarctic Ozone Layer.” Science (June 30, 2016) 10.1126/science.aae0061.