atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6406: WRONG!!!

Specifically, "a hole in the ozone layer was first discovered in the 1980s."

The "ozone hole" was discovered in 1956.

The "ozone hole" is a seasonal phenomenon which has happened every year at the same time each year. It has varied slightly in magnitude as long as we've known about it, but it has not gotten worse since its discovery in 1956. It has not gotten larger, nor has the depletion increased in magnitude.

1956 was, by the way, before chlorofluorocarbons were in widespread use.

Typical strength for the ozone layer, anywhere on Earth, is about 300 Dobson units (DU). (Dobson was, by the way, the guy who discovered the thing.) In September-October, as austral spring begins, the ozone layer over Antarctica depletes to about 200 DU. As austral spring turns to austral summer, the ozone layer over Antarctica recovers to its normal level of about 300 DU.

This happens every year.

There is no "hole"--just a thinning of the ozone layer. It happens because every year, a polar vortex forms over Antarctica, and causes the ozone layer to deplete. And once the vortex dissipates, the ozone layer recovers, every year.

So, to sum up: the "ozone hole" was discovered in 1956, explained, and largely forgotten about--until the 1980s, when, coincidentally enough, Dow's patents on chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants were about to expire.

I don't expect "journalists" to know all this. None of it's a secret, but it's actual science which runs counter to the narrative that chlorofluorocarbons caused an ozone hole.

* * *

I ended up sleeping for a couple of hours. I'm always worn out after an interview.

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