Ozone Hole fact or fiction?

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Agent51, Apr 22, 2002.

  1. Agent51 Registered Member

    Ozone is an unstable molecule composed of three oxygen atoms (O3). An ordinary oxygen molecule has two oxygen atoms (O2). This compound is stable. It is the third oxygen atom that is chemically active. It seeks to bind with any substance amenable to oxidation. The approximate result is two new molecules: The stable oxygen (O2) plus an oxide of the other compound. If it were chlorine, for example, the reaction might look something like this:


    Ozone's reactivity makes it harmful. It is one of the principal components of urban smog. Oxygenated fuels are used exclusively in most urban areas in the winter to keep it from forming. Incomplete burning of fossil fuels is the primary source man made ozone.

    Ozone exists at all levels of the atmosphere. It is slightly concentrated at upper levels. It is thinly dispersed (maximum concentration about 12 parts per million) among other stratospheric gases in a wide band between 10 and 50 kilometers above the surface.

    Ozone is created in this zone by a natural process, a reaction between sunlight and stratospheric oxygen. Levels fluctuate naturally, depending on the output of the sun and its angle of intensity. When the sun's energy diminishes over the Antarctic each winter, ozone production ceases and the concentration diminishes by about 60%. When the sun returns the following spring, the level rebuilds. The low point in this natural fluctuation is what "scientists" refer to as "The Ozone Hole."

    Ozone does absorb some ultraviolet radiation, and excessive ultraviolet radiation can be harmful. The facts don't support any conclusions regarding whether ozone is increasing or diminishing over the long run, however, or whether man is even more than just a small part of the cause.

    In meantime, Henny Penny, Goosey Loosey, and other noted scientists (remember the nursery rhyme about the animals who heard that the sky was falling?), are telling us we must go back to live in caves or the world will end tomorrow. Well, these guys have the facts and they can prove it! Here are some examples of their convoluted logic:

    1) There is no "Ozone Hole", just a drop in the wintertime of the concentrations of ozone in the stratosphere. Each winter (with long periods of darkness) ozone levels drop over the Antarctic by 60%. They return again each spring with the sunlight.

    2) Ozone levels fluctuate most dramatically over the Antarctic but CFC's are primarily produced in the Northern Hemisphere.

    3) Ground-borne CFC's are heavier than air but they are supposed to preferentially travel to the stratosphere. This is not supposed to be true of ground-borne ozone, however, which is one of the primary pollutants produced by man.

    4) We do not have any data on ozone levels over long periods of time. Any compound this unstable and diluted is bound to fluctuate wildly in its percentage concentration. A mere 1 part per million fluctuation would result in almost a 10% change in its level, a calamity according to the Chicken Little crowd.

    3) A single volcano such as Mount Pinatubo puts more ozone depleting chemicals directly into the stratosphere than man has ever produced. Immediately after the explosion, ozone levels dropped worldwide. (OH MY GOODNESS! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!) Levels rebounded almost immediately through natural rejuvenation.

    4) "Scientists" state that ultraviolet rays striking Antarctica in the winter increase dramatically due the decrease in the level of ozone. (Sunbathing in Antartica, anyone? - Winter Specials, going fast!) They report this could result in an increase of the cases of melanoma worldwide by 25%. This would mean 2,500 new cases each year of a serious but treatable disease. Contrast this the tens of millions that would die each year from food poisoning and starvation if we did not have refrigeration.

    5) We are now pledged to spend trillions of dollars worldwide re-tooling our industry with a new, less efficient refrigerant to deal with a "crisis" that is probably just a result of observing natural phenomena. This money could be used for developments and in third world where there is real and immediate suffering. Instead it will find its way into the pockets of the people who control the alternative compounds, who lobby heavily on Capitol Hill.

    6) Perhaps the best example of clear and careful thought came from our dear Vice-President Algore when he appeared on ABC's Nightline with Ted Koppel about three years ago. Mr. Algore explained "when you spray from an aerosol can, the pressure sends those CFC's clear out the stratosphere. When a volcano blows up it just runs out on the ground." So I have a question for you if hair spray is that powerful then how many people are decapitated each year while spraying their hair with hair spray?!

    HEY ALGORE! Did you ever hear of Krakatoa? How about Mount Saint Helens? Mount Pinatubo? .. .. .. Hello? .. .. .. Al? .. .. .. Is anybody home?

    7) It appears from the mechanics of the ozone cycle that levels have been fluctuating naturally for billions of years. "Scientists" now have tools to measure it, however, so now it is a "Crisis", and we are all going to die.

    Hey, we ARE all going to die! With these guys advising us, who needs Einstein?

    There is no "Ozone Layer" so there can be no "Hole" in it. What "scientists" call the "Ozone Hole" is really just fluctuations in the minute concentrations of ozone within a forty kilometer wide upper atmospheric zone. So-called "scientists" (who are supposed to be objective) have already decided that "The Sky is Falling!" and man is the culprit. In the meantime, their analysis defies all logic. Their solution is to spend trillions worldwide to re-tool our refrigeration equipment with a less efficient alternative that we have no reason to believe is any less reactive.


    Jesus! What else in this miserable world!
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    <i>There is no "Ozone Layer" so there can be no "Hole" in it. What "scientists" call the "Ozone Hole" is really just fluctuations in the minute concentrations of ozone within a forty kilometer wide upper atmospheric zone.</i>

    There is an ozone layer. Below a certain height, there is practically no ozone. Above a certain height, there is preactically no ozone. In between there's a layer containing ozone - the ozone layer.

    Yes, the ozone hole is a decrease in the concentration of ozone. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist. You can see it clearly on appropriate satellite images.
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  5. Xev Registered Senior Member

    Like this:

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Now, Agent51, let's see your sources.


    Atmospheric circulation.

    What? Man-made ozone travels to the stratosphere so there is no thinning of the ozone layer? My picture begs to differ.

    What? Just because a compound is rare does not make its concentration fluctuate.



    Look, you need to cite your sources and show evidence for a proper debate.
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  7. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member


    That's probably his source.

    The Ozone does have Cycles, where at times it will have more Methane present, or O3. The cycle is where the chemical elements switch bondings but occur over months.

    The rate of these cycles suggests that the ozone decreases and increases, there is an Equilibrium at a point, but judging by the calculations if we keep producing CH4 (Methane) from landfills and output O3 from combustion engines our Ozone days are numbered.

    The Ozone at the polls isn't just attacked by pollution, but has been attacked for years by Radio bounces using the ionosphere as a method of transfering communication throughout the globe.
    This has been heightened in recent years over satellite technology.

    All this radiation plays apart on both how the Ozone chemicals cycle, and how they react. As afterall the Ozone is the earths own defense against radiation (along with the EM of the ionosphere), which means it's no longer being attacked from above radiation but also below.

    Thre is also the point that Poles do suffer from high concentrations of gravity, and because they are an icecap they do reflect light at a higher concentration. So what radiation get's through the hole can actually be reflected back at the ozone from underneath. Again hitting it with radiation from below.
  8. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    Some commonly unknown facts

    Xev, you seem quite worried about sources. Many sources are not readily available on the Internet, and sometimes I doubt about the usefulness of giving web sources --people in these hurried times don't like to spend much time reading links to scientific studies (most times too lenghty and complicated to read by non experts). But there is enough information for people who have the will and courage to study and compare what both sides on the "ozone hole scare" are saying. That information is stored in thousands of chemistry and physics texts in hundred of thousands of libraries around the world.

    But, if you have little more than basic knowledge of physics and chemistry (I dare to say a lot more than the basics) then you should start reading the book written by Dr. George Dobson, in whose honour the measuring units for ozone levels are named. His book is titled: <b>"Exploring the Atmosphere"</b>, published by Oxford University Press, in 1968 (I am sure you could get it from Amazon.com books). In his book, Dobson tell us about everything you should know about the ozone layer and the infamous Ozone Hole --that, BTW, he discovered it back in 1957 during his research in Antarctica, (along with the French team of scientists at the Dumont D'Urville station, on the other side of the South Pole) making the claim that the Ozone Hole was discovered by a British team in 1985 <b>a blattant lie</b>. All this is in Chapter 6th, "Ozone in the Atmosphere", an enlightening reading.

    In his explaining of the chemical properties of ozone, you can read the following: <i>"...A large amount of enery is required to form ozone from oxygen and this energy is given up again when ozone returns to normal oxygen; pure ozone is actually explosive and will detonate under suitable conditions. On the other hand, a large amount of energy is required to dissociate a molecule of oxygen into two single atoms of of oxygen and this energy is released again when two atoms of oxygen recombine to form a molecule of oxygen."</i>

    From many chemistry books you can have a look at the actual energy levels required by such dissociation of the oxygen molecule: it is required <b>118,000 kilocalories/mol of energy</b>, and this energy is taken (or stolen) from the high energy photons entering the stratosphere. This means that when a photon in the ultraviolet range of the spectrum strikes an oxygen molecule and splits it in two atoms, it loses 118,000 kcal/mol of energy. After hundreds of thousands of such events, the photon loses its energy and becomes weaker, ie: it goes from the UV-C range into the UV-B, the UV-A, then into the visible spectrum, and finally it may be transformed into infrared radiation, or directly lose all its energy and disappear.

    In the same chemistry and physics texts you can see that the energy stolen from the photons are released again, when the two oxygen atoms recombine to restore the molecule. This energy is released in a "spherical" way, that is, about half of it is returned to outer space, and the other half is scattered in the atmosphere striking other molecules (among them the nitrogen molecules).

    The nitrogen molecules require more than <b>171,000 kilocal/mol</b> to dissociate, so nitrogen is a much stronger radiation absorber than oxygen. Actually, nitrogen and oxygen are the real shields against UV radiation, due to two important reasons: 1) The high energy they require to dissociate --stolen from UV photons, and 2) the vast amount of these gases in the atmosphere: 78% for nitrogen (N2) and 21% for oxygen (O2). As for ozone, the facts are this:

    When two ozone molecules touch each other, they do not require energy to recombine into oxygen; on the contray, they release <b>64 kilocal/mol</b> in the process: The reaction is represented in the chenistry books as: <b>O<sub>3</sub> + O<sub>3</sub>  3 O<sub>2</sub> + 64 kcal/mol.</b> As a consequence of the application of the <i>First Principle of the Law of Thermodynamics</i> if the destruction of two ozone molecules requires 64 kcal/mol, one ozone molecule requires only 32 kcal/mol to be destroyed. This means that each ozone molecule "steals" only 64 kcal/mol from any UV photon, while oxygen steals 118,000 kcal/mol. That's why oxygen can be compared with "<b>Scharzenneger</b>" molecules and ozone molecules to "<b>dwarf</b>" molecules.

    So, oxygen is thousands of times as stronger a shield against UV radiation than ozone. As the formation of <b>TWO</b> ozone (dwarf) molecules requires the destruction of <b>THREE</b> (Scharzenneger) molecules, we see that any region of atmosphere containing high concentrations of oxygen is more protective than a similar region with high levels of ozone. Actually, UV radiation passes more easily through a layer of ozone than a similar concentration of oxygen. Speaking for laymen: If you wanted to protect a fortress against any enemy, what would you choose: TWO DWARFS of THREE Scharzenneges?. Still more: while oxygen concentration in the atmosphere is about 21%, ozone amounts only to <b>0,000003 percent</b> (yes, <b>THREE MILLIONTHS</b> percent!). The Ozone layer is worthless as a UV radiation shield.

    Our chief scientist in the National Observatory of Villa Ortuzar in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Lic. Victoria Tafuri, in charge of measuring ozone levels in Argentina (even in Tierra del Fuego) said back in 1997: </b>"We have not seen any decrease of ozone levels during the past 25 years"</b>.
    The rest of the ozone debate is pure political trash. As any cheap lawyer in TV movies would say: <b>"I rest my case"</b>.
  9. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I think you've missed the point. The question is which chemical reactions absorb photons in the "harmful" UV range, not which chemical reactions absorb the most energy.

    As I understand it, ozone absorbs much more "harmful" UV than oxygen does.
  10. bobbapink Registered Member

    Re: Some commonly unknown facts

    While I’ve often considered the Ozone Hole™ to be pretty much pure fear mongering on the part of environmentalists (of the religious variety) and a smidgen of promotion from certain industries in a position to profit from the scare, I'm curious about some of your conclusions, to wit:

    Doesn’t that depend on the wavelength? My [very possibly incorrect] understanding was that while Diatomic oxygen absorbs the highest-energy ultraviolet radiation from the sun, namely, all radiation with wavelengths shorter than 240 nm, there is a great deal of ultraviolet radiation between 240 nm and 290 nm that is not absorbed by O2 molecules but is absorbed by O3. Right? Wrong? Middle?
  11. Adam §Þ@ç€ MØnk€¥ Registered Senior Member

  12. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    Yes, that is a popular belief that the scientific facts exposed in my last post debunks. Now you must understand it otherwise. Photons <b>ARE</b> energy, so any chemical reaction that absorbs photons are absorbing energy. You cannot separate one thing from the other.

    I'm sorry if this goes against your earlier beliefs, but science keeps marching along... Once we thought the Earth was flat, or it was the center of the universe. You see, we have corrected the mistake as we learned in the way.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2002
  13. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    There is big talk about the radiation that would pass through an ozone hole. Well, if "big talk" makes the mistake of using numbers and figures from scientific data, then "big talk" becomes a simple "lambeth walk" (our grandparents used to dance at its rythm). What gives a skin burn to humans and living things is UV radiation, and as any other radiation can be accurately measured. The unit of measure is Watts/m2 , or as mathematically put: W m^-2). Sometimes, scientists use submultiples of this unit (miliwatts (mw), or microwatts (w), and/or square centimeters (cm2) instead of square meters (m2), according to their needs.

    The average solar energy falling over the Earth's surface is about 1,000 watts/m2 between the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn (23,5 N - 23,5 S latitude). UV-B takes care of about 350 watts/m2, and UV-A the rest (650 watts/m2). When Al Gore scared people with his claims that "sheeps in Patagonia were getting blind by the UV radiation coming through the ozone hole, and babies in Punta Arenas, Chile, were developing melanomas", the press (and the people) went wild. But then,
    scientists measured at noon the UV-B radiation coming through a mini-ozone hole in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina, back in Septemeber 1997, (Drs. Isidoro Orlansky and Ernesto A. Martinez, Buenos Aires National University, Laboratory of Geophysics), their Robertson-Berger spectrometer recorded the incoming UV radiation: 150 watts/m2. At the same time of the day, in Buenos Aires there was a "shower" of 300 watts/m2, this is, normal levels.

    Orlansky and Martinez said: "Typical average values of UV radiation are 300 watts/m2 in Buenos Aires, about 100 - 150 watts/m2 in Tierra del Fuego, and 100 watts and less in Antarctica, right under the ozone hole. The UV levels below the ozone hole do not reach half the values found in Buenos Aires." I swear to God that there are not blind sheeps in the Pampas of Buenos Aires. Why did Al Gore tell that lie? Because he's a moron. The blind sheeps in Patagonia were the result of the eruption of the Hudson volcano back in 1971 (that killed hundred of thousands of sheeps, covernig them with ashes that got soaked with rain water, making the ashes a cement-like coffin). The babies in Punta Arenas? Babies don't sunbaths, especially in Punta Arenas where the sun is so low over the horizon that it would NEVER give anyone a sun tan (leave aside a skin cancer), and temperature is so low that it would be criminal to take a baby out of the living room. But, have you ever found something more gullible than a sensationalistic journalist? They buy and eat garbage...

    There has been developed an index for measuring "erythema" (or skin burn), based in the watts/m2 reaching the surface. The recommended index is based on the standard first adopted in Canada (Burrows et al., 1994), and represents the erythemally weighted (McKinlay and Diffey, 1987), or sunburning UV radiation at midday. The radiation, (in units of W m^-2) is multiplied by 40, to give an index of approximately 15 at midday near the equator. The values recorded for Australia are given in the next table:

    <b>Site --- Lat (deg S) - 21-Dec - 21-Mar - 21-Jun - 21-Sep</b>

    Suva ----------- 18.2 ----- 14.6 ----- 12.6 ------- 6.8 ----- 12.2
    Brisbane ------ 27.4 ----- 13.8 ----- 10.3 ------- 3.9 ------- 9.4
    <b><font color="#ff0000">Sydney ----- 33.9 ----- 12.9 ---- 8.4 ----- 2.4 ------ 7.2</font></b>
    Kaitaia --------- 35.2 ----- 12.7 ------- 8.1 ------- 2.2 ------ 6.9
    Auckland ------- 36.9 ---- 12.3 ------- 7.5 ------- 1.7 ------ 6.1
    New Plymouth - 9.1 ----- 11.8 ------- 6.8 ------- 1.4 ------ 6.4
    <b><font color="#ff0000">Wellington -- 41.3 ---- 11.2 ----- 6.3 ----- 1.1 ---- 5.0</font></b>
    Christchurch -- 43.5 ----- 10.4 ------- 5.6 ------- 0.9 ------ 4.4
    Dunedin -------- 45.9 ---- 10.0 ------- 4.9 ------- 0.6 ------ 4.0
    Invercargill ----- 46.4 ----- 9.9 ------- 4.8 ------- 0.6 ------ 3.8
    <font color="#ff0000"><b>Campbell Is. - 52.6 ----- 8.2 ----- 3.3 ---- 0.2 ------- 2.7
    Scott Base -- 77.9 ----- 2.9 ----- 0.3 ------ 0.0 ------- 0.6</b></font>

    <b>Table 1.</b> Typical clear-sky UV indices over New Zealand and its surrounding region.
    Seasonal variations are larger at high latitudes.

    In this table I have marked red the latitudes of Sydney (33.9° S) corresponding to similar latitudes of my home town in Cordoba, Argentina, (32°S), about the same as sunny San Diego, California. There is also Wellington (about the corresponding northern latitude of New York city and Naples, Italy); Campbell Islands, about the latitude of Ushuaia (55°South), and Newcastle, England, (55°North), and finally the Scott base in Antarctica, corresponding to the northern latitude of the Russian islands in the Arctic Sea. I have also marked in red the title: <b>21st Sept.</b>, corresponding to the spring in the Southern hemisphere, a time when the Ozone Hole is wide open. Let's compare these figures and reach to a conclusion:

    While there are 15 units of this ertythema index falling at the Equatorial line, in my home town we are getting 7.2 units (about 50%), and in Ushuaia, in Tierra del Fuego, they are getting 2.7 units, that is, <b>more than five times less radiation</b>. This means that if we get a reasonable sun tan in 30 minutes at the Equator (this is a risk-free exposure time), the risk-free for my home town is doubled to <b>ONE hour</b>, and people in Ushuaia have <b>more than 8 hours of risk-free time.</b>

    And let's see what happen to those poor scientists working at Scott base, right below the Ozone Hole: <b>they get 0,6 units</b>. That is about <b>FIVE time less than people in Ushuaia</b>, so their risk-free time <b>is about 40 hours</b>. It's a pitty there are only 24 hours in a day, so these scientists must remain outdoors, under the sun rays, for almost two days to get the same skin damage they would get at home in 30 minutes.

    So, it seems the ozone loss does not impose a risk of higher UV radiation and skin cancers and other ailments. As it is written at the bottom of my posts: <b><font color="#ff0000">"Small scientific facts have the nasty habit of destroying beautiful theories".</font></b>
  14. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    Adam: in the link you supplied, there is a page trying to show that CFC in the stratosphere destroy ozone, giving a graph about the concentrations of CFC at different altitudes. This page makes many scientific mistakes, and should be considered misinforming. No wonder, as it comes from a government agency heavily engaged in the "ozone rackett". I quote from this page:

    <B>FALSE!</B> Oxygen absorbs most of the high energy photons at the TOPMOST part of the stratosphere. So, it is hard to find UV-C below 40-50 km altitude, where the CFC are found at concentrations of <b>few parts per trillion</b>. CFCs are highly stable molecules, almost as difficult to dissociate as oxygen and nitrogen. The graph in this misinforming page (similar studies were performed by R. Fabian, S.A. Borders and S. Penkett, <b>"Halocarbons in the Stratosphere"</b>, <i>Nature</i>, Dec. 24, 1981, giving data for all halocarbons manufactured, so I guess this graph was taken from their work.).

    The concentration of CFCs remain fairly steady until they reach the bottom of the stratosphere, as the figure shows. Then, there is a dramatic shift: The concentration of CFCs starts to decrease <b>exponentially</b>. A few kilometers into the stratosphere, the concentrations are only 1/100th of those in the troposphere below. A school of thought composed by the vast majority of meteorologists and physical atmosphere scientists, point to the temperature inversion nature of the stratosphere as the phenomenon that keeps stratospheric population of CFC molecules small. In an inversion, the temperature lapses are upside-down, that is, the aire becomes warmer with altitude, and the warmer layer of air acts like a lid on the air below. You can see that phenomenon in cold winter mornings, when there is no wind, and where the pollution is trapped like a brownish blanket over the city. Once the air warms up at mid morning, the blanket disappears. (Hello, Los Angeles!) Robert W. Pease, professor emeritus in climatology at the University of California, at Riverside, clearly states: <i>"It is precisely because CFCs are so much heavier than air, that it takes considerable more eddy turbulence to support and move the molecules upward through this thermal barrier of the stratospheric inversion than other, lighter air gases."</i>

    The same graph makes clear another important point: <b>CFCs do not rise above 40 km</b>, and thus barely reach altitudes where significant energetic ultraviolet radiation (190-230 nm) occurs. As a matter of fact, this UV radiation has all but disappeared by the time of its penetration to 25 km. The question arises: Does enough of the energetic UV radiation reach the altitudes of CFCs occurrence to accomplish much destruction of the molecules? You should keep in mind that, at the 40 km altitude where the last CFCs molecules are found, <b>do not have the energy enough to break down the highly stable CFC molecule.</b> So, who breaks the CFCs molecules if there is not UV radiation with enough energy to accomplish this? If they are broken down at all...

    Professor Pease points out that the number of CFC molecules relative to oxygen molecules, in any given point in the stratosphere, determines the probability of each photoreaction occurring at that point. For measured CFCs and oxygen concentrations at 25 km altitude, this probability is roughly that <b>One billion ozone molecules</b> will be formed for each CFC molecule that is broken apart, releasing one chlorine atom. Since the amount of ozone in the stratosphere depends upon a continuos equilibrium between its creation and destruction, the probaility of depletion by CFCs <b>is virtually nonexistent</b>. The destruction of ozone that mantains the equilibrium is by the UV radiation itself; it is a natural process that has existed as long as there has been an atmosphere thet contains oxygen. The supply of oxygen is endless, as the supply of UV radiation is endelss too. Earth have two endless suppliers of ozone: oxygen and UV radiation. And ozone is being formed much faster than it can possibly be destroyed, even by natural forces as volcano eruptions and the chlorine supplied by the oceans (more than 600 millions of tons annually), or the really unfruitfull efforts of man releasing a peak amount of 7,500 tons a year (back in the 70s).

    The misinforming page keeps saying: <b>"Because no natural processes destroy CFCs, it survives to be uniformly distributed, both vertically and horizontally."</b> This people ignores completely the works of many, many scientists (as M.A. R. Khalil and R.A. Rasmussen, "The Potential of Soils as a Sink of Chlorofluorocarbons and Other Man-made Chlorocarbons", Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 16, July 1989), where they prove that CFCs are digested by bacteria in soils, swamps and rice paddies. They also found that <i>"... show an amazingly rapid removal of chlorocarbons by the soils and other cosntituents of the termite mounds, The soils depleted methylchloroform (CH3CCl3) and carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) by about 26 percent and more than 60 percent, respectively.</i> They end their paper saying: <i>"It should be noted that the soils of the earth have been exposed to the chlorocarbons we studied for at least a decade, and they still continue to remove the chlorocarbons at a measurable rate. The rates of removal are greatest for carbon tetrachloride followed by methylchloroform and F-11"</i> (page 682).

    The rest of the website contains similar misinformation about the ozone issue, utterly unscientific, so there is no use in commenting it here --unless you really wanted to hear about it.

    PS: I sent an email to Australia's Prime Minister telling him he should worry about more important things than the imaginary ozone hole menace --like trying to reduce Australia's foreign debt, the world's largest per capita. Greens really did a good job of sendig Australia "back to wilderness", destroying the food production the country used to have thirty years ago.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2004
  15. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Any atom or molecule cannot absorb any photon. The photon must have just the right energy to be absorbed. It seems you do not understand my point.
  16. Greg Bernhardt www.physicsforums.com Registered Senior Member

    fact, but it's used for politics too much
  17. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    That's half correct: atoms and molecules do absorb photons. And yes, the absorption is a function of the photon wavelength and the molecule vibration frequency.

    I don't see what's your point either. Perhaps you were not clear enough, but the main issue here is not "which chemical" reactions absorbs more UV radiation, or if atoms or molecules can do it or not. The important thing are:

    <b>1) How much UV radiation is reaching the surface.
    2) Which are the factors that determine the amount of UV filtering by the atmosphere.
    3) If there has been an increase in UV radiation reaching the surface in the last years.
    4) If there has been any ozone layer reduction during the last 40 years or so</b>

    So, the best thing to do is start from the beginning, as sound science should be performed. I am sure you know what I will explain, but there might be some people on the board that would be interested, so, in their behalf here it goes:

    The sun radiates energy to Earth. Other kind of energy comes from outer space: cosmic rays, that do not play an important role in our discussion. We learned in school that energy is defined as the ability to do work, and that the rate at which energy is used is power. We also found out that energy <b>can neither be created nor destroyed, only converted from one form to another.</b>
    Some examples of energy are heat energy, electrical energy, electromagnetic energy, chemical energy, nuclear energy, kinetic energy and mass energy. Nobel Prize winner physicist Feynman highlights that we describe energy as a number. As on a double-entry accounting spreadsheet, if we add energy on one side of the ledger we must subtract it from the other side. The net result must be always zero. Once we stored this in our mind, the rest becomes easier.

    <b>Absorption and Scattering</b>

    When an electromagnetic wave collides against an atom, the electric and magnetic fields interact with the atom's electrons. Simplifying the matter, we can state that: <b>"An atom or a molecule absorb electromagnetic radiation preferently (but not necessarily) when the frequencey of the wave coincides with one of the frequencies in its emission spectrum"</b>. Or in a simpler manner: <b>"The emission and absorption spectrum of a substance is composed of the same frequencies"</b>, something that Kirchoff had demonstrated back in the 19th Century.

    The absorption of energy results in a readjustment of the electric movements of the system to match the new and higher energy levels of the atom or molecule. We can say that the atom or molecule has been left in a state of "excitment". When a wave (or a photon, it's the same thing) goes through a molecule (this applies the same to atoms) disturbs the movement of the linked electrons, and the molecule enters into a state of excitment. For the inverse process, --as electrons act as forced oscillating electric dipoles-- the excited molecule can re-emit electromagnetic radiation (or a photon) of the same frequency as the incident wave, without a measurable retard. The energy re-emitted by the molecule has been absorbed from the incoming radiation. This process is known as "scattering", and the re-emitted radiation (or photons) is known as "scattered wave". The scatering helps to decrease the absorbed energy from the primary wave because the scattering is performed in a "spherical" way, that is, in all directions, away from the molecule. The intensity of the scattered wave, of course, depends on the frequency (or wavelength) of the received radiation, and the angle of scattering, An important point is that the scattered waves are strongest when the incident radiation frequency is equal to one of the "1, 2, 3, ...x" of the emission spectrum of the molecule, fact known as <b>"Resonance flourescence"</b>. The scattering could still be signficant at frequencies different from those of the emission spectrum.

    We could jump over less important things as the higher degree of scattering of the higher frequencies (thus the blue color of the sky), and go to what matters.

    <b>Molecular Oxygen</b>

    The oxygen molecule is a double-bonded one (a diatomic molecule), and that means it is one of the most stable molecules on Earth (like nitrogen), and it is extremely hard to break apart. When two oxygen atoms bond together to form an oxygen molecule, there is a great amount of energy released (or formation heat), that is <b>118,111 kilocalories/mol</B>. By the inverse process, it is needed this huge amount of energy in order to dissociate the molecule. The enormous strength of this diatomic bond (O=O) is made evident by the fact that even at 2,300°C only 1% of the oxygen molecules are dissociated in atoms.

    We can imagine the atoms as little balls linked by steel coils that keep the balls together. Each "coil-link" has its own vibration frequency, the frequency at which the balls separate from each other, and then are attracted again by the "coil". Let us say that a pair of atoms separates and get closer at about 1 million times every second. We say they vibrate at <b>1 Megaherz per second</b>. (Your computer CPU clock can do much better than that...). When a ECM wave of that same frequency strikes the molecule, increases the natural vibration of its atoms; the molecule absorbs part of the incoming radiation at this particular frequency, and the spectrophotometer shows an absorption peak for the corresponding wavelenght.

    When a photon strikes a molecule, it gives away a certain amount of energy. If the absorption capacity of the molecule is greater than the absorbed energy, the energy absorbed "heats" the molecule. If the photon's energy is greater, there begins a transfer of energy that puts the molecule into a vibration state. The molecule might not break, though, until the incoming energy reaches the ionization level of the molecule. At this point, the molecule dissociates in its comstitutive atoms, and the photon (or what remain of the photon) keeps going in its original direction, without any other loss than the energy given to the molecule until its rupture. The photon will continue its path to Earth's surface, making millions or billions of impacts against equal number of molecules of different type of gases, substances, dust, clouds, smoke, airplanes, trees, animals, and human beings.

    Each impact takes away some energy from the photon, so the final energy contained in a photon striking a human being is a functin of: a) the energy it had when first entered the atmosphere, 2) the amount of impacts performed and, 3) the absorption capacity of each of the molecules impacted. As we can see, this is a task for the brave of heart...

    But, there is a fact: a molecule could not dissociated by a photn not strong enough, but it can leave the molecule in a high vibrating state (it has been "heated up"). In a few seconds, the molecule will go back to its normal "temperature" or normal vibrating frequency, releasing the extra energy absorbed in the form of heat. This process warms the atmosphere. But, if a second photon strikes the molecule when it is still "hot" (in a high vibration state), the additional energy given to the photon can make the molecule reach its ionization (rupture) level, and provoke its breakup.


    <b>In Brief:</b>
    When a photon strikes any molecule, the impact provokes the molecule to start vibrating. We can visualize this as two atoms linked by a coil, and the two atoms trying to get away from each other. The "coil" will prevent this and will return the atoms to their "natural" distances. The energy that was transmitted to the atoms by photons, will continue to separate the atoms, and the "coil" will keep bringing the atoms close together again. This process consumes energy and repeats itself until all the added energy is consumed, that is, transformed into heat (infrared radiation), because energy is never lost, just transformed.

    This process of added energy increases what its known as "quantum energy level" to higher levels. When the vibration reaches a point that breaks the "coil" resistance, the energy received from the photon will be released in the form of a new photon, and the molecule steps down to its original energy level. The new photon is released in a random direction, so there is no way to determine in which direction it will keep going. Sometimes it will go back to outer space, sometimes will keep going in its original direction, right down to Earth's surface. But, as there are infinite degrees in which the photon can resume its journey, the odds that it would keep going down are about "one against infinte" (1/infinite).

    I hope this lenghty explanation has been useful for thos who did not know the science behind EMR and molecules in the stratosphere.
  18. Gifted World Wanderer Registered Senior Member

    I would appreciate it if someone could find the gas emissions of Mt. Erebus. A link would be nice.

    I remember seeing in somewhere that a Japanese team discovered the thinning sometime in the fifties. They too decided that this was natural.

    If UV radiation breaks down CFCs, then we should make more of them to absorb the radiation that is leaking through the "hole."

    Skin cancer is not a good measurement either. I saw it pointed out somewhere that we are wearing less(women used to wear dresses to swim in, compare that to a bikini) and exposing more.

    This debate has the reputations of many scientists and lots of laws and government policies at stake, and guess who has the money. In The Hole in the Ozone Scare the story was told of two scientists that, while researching something unrelated, noticed that CFCs didn't come out of the other end of a termite mound. The critics state the fact that it was never verified, but then, when they requested a grant, they were turned down.

    This is too mixed up in politics to be resolved without banging heads.

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  19. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    You were reading the right book. (Roger Maduro and Ralph Schauerhammer). Khalil Rasmussen and other proved that CFCs are digested by bacteria in the environment. You should watch the video documentary "Fair skin, stay in". there you would see Haroum Tazieff, the french volcanologist who made four expeditions to the Antarctica (studying the Erebus volcano) stating the Erebus pumps more than 1,000 tons of chlorine, right into the "Ozone hole".

    The infamous hole was not discovered by the British scientists in 1985, but by the British atmospheric scientist George Dobson in 1957, during the International Geophysical Year campaign. French scientists at the Dumont D'Urville station in the south pole made the same "discovery", at the same time Dobson recorded the lowest ozone levels ever measured in history.
  20. Gifted World Wanderer Registered Senior Member

    I recall that there was a Japanese team too.
  21. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    I think you have mentioned one of the best referenced book on the ozone issue: "The Holes in the Ozone Scare. The Scientific Evidence That the Sky Isn't Falling", by roger Maduro and Ralph Schauerhmmer, (1992, 21st Century Science Associates, P.O.Box 16285, Washington, D.C. 20041). If not, you can get in touch with them at: <A HREF="http://www.21stcenturysciencetech.com/">"21st Century Science & Technology"</B></A> for buying the book. It is well and plainly explained, and fully referenced, so you can go from there.

    Or go here for more info: <A HREF=http://members.aol.com/lindgren3/Ozone.html><b>"The Ozone Hole; Facty or Fiction?"</B></A>

    Or try my website (and all the links there) at: <A HREF="http://mitosyfraudes.8k.com/ENGLISH.html"><b>Ecology: Myths and Frauds</B></A>
  22. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

    Now, I don't know exactly how much damage we're doing to the earth, (which is why I'm ressurecting this old thread) but that seems to be going a bit far, don't you think?

    The reason I bring this up is because a buddy and I were just watching South Park. It was the episode where all the immigrants from the future are coming back in time because the future sucks so bad. It was a blatant play on all immigrants that come in and work for low pay, "They tewk ar jyobs!!" (If you haven't seen the episode, that's said from deep in the throat. Try saying it with your adam's apple.

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    ) Anyway, they end up figuring that if they clean up the earth, then the future people won't need to come back in time. So they do that for a while then figure out that what they're doing is "gay" and they go back to the big gay doggie pile as plan "b". (If everyone's guy, the future people are never born.)

    And this is important because...? Well, we started talking about the subject of ecology and the ozone hole came up. I remember hearing several times that the ozone hole was just a big screw-up basically. It's a cycle that comes and goes. It came and then it went. And that nowadays one hears nothing about the ozone hole because it basically repaired itself, not completely but not anywhere near as bad as it was back in the heyday. I've tried doing some searching on the web before I came back here and searched and I really couldn't find what I wanted. I found a couple of the sites listed above coincidentally enough.

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    But, what I would like to see is a direct comparison detailing the ozone hole over time. From then to now. Satellite images and the like. I've found a site that shows year by year stats; but they don't show the hole, they show charts and graphs. It'd be nice to "see" the hole, if you know what I mean. Does anyone have any links or information on this?

    And... This is an excellent example of a good thread. I guess the one thing it was missing was someone to play devil's advocate. A little flame war to spur the scientific juices.

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    Edit: even though the original post was plagerized...
  23. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    Thanks for your tutorial. I hope it helps people who aren't actually physicists who specialise in quantum optics, like I do.

    Try 1 in 2.

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