An unexpected large ozone hole in the Earth’s atmosphere has been identified in almost the entire equatorial region.
The hole is empty throughout the year in the planet’s ozone layer, and is seven times larger than the Antarctic ozone hole, which opens in the spring each year.
Professor King Ben-Lou, a scientist at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, said their research showed that the hole existed more than 30 years ago and covered a vast area that could cover half the world’s population. Affected
he said Independent“Unlike the Antarctic ozone hole, which appears only in the spring season, the tropical ozone hole has appeared in all seasons since the 1980s, and its area is about seven times larger.
“[It] This could be of global concern as it could lead to an increase in UV radiation at ground level and an increased risk of skin cancer and cataracts, and other negative effects on health and ecosystems in the tropics.
“Preliminary reports indicate that the level of ozone depletion in the tropics is already at risk for large populations, and that the UV radiation reaching the affected areas was much higher than expected,” he said.
Professor Lowe said he was talking about finding large areas of depleted ozone Independent: “It does not seem credible that a large hole in the equatorial ozone has not been discovered before. But there are some internal challenges in making this discovery.
“First, the existence of tropical ozone holes was not expected from the original photochemical theory. Second, unlike Antarctic / Arctic ozone holes which are seasonal and appear mainly in spring, tropical ozone holes do not originally occur in seasons. Changes and is therefore not seen in the original observed data.
Research has found that, like the Antarctic ozone hole, the normal value of ozone at the center of the tropical ozone hole is reduced by about 80 percent.
New research has also highlighted differences in existing theories about how ozone deplets.
In the past, the presence of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) has been a major cause of ozone depletion. The 1987 Montreal Protocol, which banned them, saw a significant reduction in their use.
But despite the global ban, the largest, deepest and most persistent ozone hole – in the Antarctic – was still visible in the late 2000s and 2020-2021.
“This was unexpected from photochemical-climate models,” said Professor Lowe.
A separate theory of ozone depletion, known as the electron reaction (CRE) by cosmic rays, in which cosmic rays from space reduce ozone in the atmosphere, was first developed by Professor Lowe and his colleagues. Was proposed two decades ago.
he said Independent“The observed results strongly suggest that both the Antarctic and tropical ozone holes must be formed from the same physical mechanism, and that the CRE mechanism has shown excellent agreement with the observed data.”
He added: “CFCs are undoubtedly the main gases of ozone depletion, but cosmic rays play a major stimulating role in the formation of both polar and equatorial ozone holes.”
The study is published in the journal AIP developments.