Ozone: too much here, too little there

Hey folks, can we just get our ozone in balance? Seems like crystals and mantras aren't gonna do it.
Written by Harry Fuller, Contributor

Hey folks, can we just get our ozone in balance? Seems like crystals and mantras aren't gonna do it. There's no political stigma on climate change research in Britain so they're regularly coming with up new findings.

Today comes a study saying there are chmicals in the Antarctic that are naturally occuring, and they're reducing ozone above the ice sheet. Published in Science, the research results found that bromine and iodine oxides occur in surprisingly high concentrations in the south polar region and both compounds add to ozone depletion. One of the scientists said, "Halogens in the lowest part of the atmosphere have important impacts on ozone depletion, the ability of the atmosphere to remove potentially harmful compounds, and aerosol formation. All these atmospheric phenomena are linked to climate change."

That research was done by the British Antarctic Survey.

So there's not enough ozone over the Antarctic because of those nasty halogens. Meanwhile another group of British researchers found the increase of ozone elsewhere is a problem as well. This study was published in Nature online and says ozone has been increasing over much of the planet for more than 150 years.

Here's the sorry tale summarized in their press release, "Experts from the Met Office, the University of Exeter and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, have found that projections of increasing ozone near the Earth’s surface could lead to significant reductions in regional plant production and crop yields. Surface ozone also damages plants, affecting their ability to soak up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and accelerating global warming."

So we have too much ozone up here and the penguins aren't getting their share down there and things are getting worse. And one of the ozone scientists is suggesting that all this talk about carbon and CO2 and carbon sinks may be off the mark, we should be talking ozone.

But there's good news of a sort for those in Silicon Valley. You won't have to worry about long-range climatic problems. You've got immediate problems. Another article in Science says the California water system centered around the Sacramento Delta is in great danger. One major quake and California dries up and Silicon Valley has to relocate...say, to central China where everything else's gonna be anyway.

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