Thinning ozone layer

Last Updated: Saturday 04 July 2015

there is fresh evidence that the ozone layer over the uk and northern Europe is thinning. Scientists are worried by the depletion which was previously thought to be a problem largely confined to the southern hemisphere.

Meteorological readings taken in the stratosphere over the Arctic show that in six of the past 10 winters, ozone has thinned to half its normal concentration. With decreasing ozone cover, the region will be subject to more ultra-violet radiation from the sun, resulting in more people suffering from skin cancer.

There is also a hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica and it fluctuates in size. For years Australians have been aware that given the location of their country they faced a greater threat of being afflicted by skin cancer. Now, it is the turn of the northern Europeans to take this threat seriously.

Meanwhile, there is growing evidence that the gases - specially carbon dioxide (co2) - responsible for global warming are also causing ozone depletion. Once they reach the stratosphere, these gases cool faster than ordinary air to form ice clouds in which ozone-depleting substances, particularly chlorine, come together and react.

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