The ozone threat

The ozone threat

Alternatives to banned ozone-depleting substances may jeopardise the effectiveness of the Montreal Protocol

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  • Climate Irrationality in the

    Climate Irrationality in the light of The New Theory on Climate Change

    Dr. Mirza Arshad Ali Beg
    Former Director General PCSIR

    Climate Irrationality has never ever been resolved. One may have hoped the phase-out CFCs by 2010 would restore the status of ozone depletion in the stratosphere but the sharp increase in the use of HCFCs that partly substituted the CFCs mattered little. Developed countries pledged to freeze the production and consumption of HCFCs by 2004, and phase them out completely by 2020, while the developing countries that had the capacity to produce them, consented to freeze them by 2013 and phase them out by 2030. The developing countries are therefore moving to HFCs that are the third generation gases already in use in developed nations, although the HFCs have a high global warming potential.
    The emission of GHGs and warming of the globe is in the mean time continuing to rise. The Harvard University study published in Science suggests serious loss of ozone. This is an indicator that factors responsible for loss of ozone are varied.
    My theory on climate change (reported in takes better stock of climate irrationality. The theory holds that anthropogenic activity has, through increased oxidative dehydration (OD) of land, burning of biomass and other combustibles, increased the concentration of the CO2 and water, the main constituents of the Green House Gases (GHG)s, warmed the microenvironment, left the CO2 and other acidic gases unabsorbed, and produced an equivalent of at least half the amount of moisture in the atmosphere. The global warmth can be reduced by reductive rehydration of the CO2, and other acidic gases. The reductive rehydration process is in operation among the plants and vegetation on land and by phytoplankton in the sea. The excessive amount of water vapour being produced by anthropogenic activities remains in the atmosphere.
    Removal of vegetative cover through indiscriminate cutting of trees for lumber or clearing land for agricultural activities has deforested extensive land area and has left the GHGs mainly CO2 and moisture in the atmosphere. This has restrained the natural process of reductive rehydration by photosynthesis and has thus altered the heat balance of the ecosystem of earth, while the heat generated has increased the warmth of the environment, and the unabsorbed GHGs have been left free to selectively acidify the microenvironment. GHGs in appropriate concentration in the atmosphere are needed to maintain the heat balance, which however is disturbed by the excess amount of vapour and is responsible for excessive warmth or rise in temperature as well as humidity.
    The theory thus holds the excessive amount of water vapour being pumped into the atmosphere and stratosphere to be responsible for the Climate Irrationality and the rise in temperature of the earth and the seas. The temperature of the heat zone that drives the monsoon engine for India and Pakistan has, thanks to deforestation and desertification risen to over 40oC. Likewise the temperature of the Arabian Sea has risen by 1.5oC.

    With regard to Ozone depletion it is important to take into account the systems that produce ozone:
    Production. Ultraviolet (uv) radiation from the sun splits molecules O2 into two free oxygen atoms O, which immediately combine with oxygen to produce ozone O3 with the help of a random air molecule M (N2 or O2).

    Eq 1) O2 + uv-light ÔÇô> 2 O

    Eq 2) 2 O + 2 O2+ M ÔÇô> 2 O3+ M

    Production of ozone is highest in the tropical atmosphere at heights near 40 km. The circulation in the stratosphere then carries the ozone to other regions.

    Destruction. Solar radiation of any wavelength from near infrared to ultraviolet can destroy ozone. This too is highest in the tropical atmosphere at heights near 40 km.
    Eq 3) O3 + sunlight ÔÇô> O2 + O
    Eq 4) O + O + M ÔÇô> O2+ M

    Eq 5) O + O3 ÔÇô> 2 O2

    This reaction Eq 5 is relatively weak since almost all the O atoms combine with molecular oxygen to remake ozone. The remaking of ozone will be restrained if the O atoms have the opportunity to enter into a competing reaction, for example with hydroxyl radicals:
    OH + O  O2 + H and
    OH + N  NO + H

    The competing reactions take place during intense activities of summer monsoons and summer storms. Excessive water vapour generated during the heating of desiccated land surface and the consequent rise in the temperature of the seas is being thrust into the dry lower stratosphere. Here the water vapour undergoes another series of simultaneous reactions in which hydroxyl radicals are produced by the reaction of excited atomic oxygen with water.

    Dr. Mirza Arshad Ali Beg
    Former Director General PCSIR

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