Google+

Extra Water Vapor Up High Could Trigger Destructive Chemical Reactions

Climate change may spur the destruction of ozone in unexpected parts of the globe.

In a warming world, many scientists believe, severe weather will become more common. That could be a problem in part because powerful rainstorms have the potential to erode ozone above the United States, researchers report online July 27 in Science.

“For 30 years, we’ve studied the problems of ozone loss and climate change separately,” says team leader James Anderson, a Harvard atmospheric scientist. “Now it’s pretty clear that climate change appears to be linked directly to the loss of ozone.” High-altitude ozone acts as a protective shield, blocking ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer.

Anderson and his colleagues stumbled on the unexpected connection while studying strong summer storms fueled by rising heat. During missions from 2001 to 2007, NASA planes flying close to the edge of space spotted water spewed high into the sky by convective storms over the U.S. The goal was to gather useful measurements for figuring out how high-altitude clouds form and trap heat.

But the data also revealed a possible threat to ozone molecules floating 15 to 20 kilometers up. Large storms often left behind extra water vapor in this part of the stratosphere, the remnants of melted ice crystals propelled upward.

That vapor could set the stage for a chemical chain reaction, Anderson says. Aerosol particles swollen with water can dissolve airborne hydrochloric acid. The acid can then react and form other chlorine compounds, including pairs of chlorine atoms. Sunlight cleaves those molecules, spitting out unstable chlorine atoms that break down ozone.

“It’s the same chemistry as that going on above the Arctic and the Antarctic,” says Anderson. Chlorine from human-made chemicals has chewed seasonal holes in ozone above Antarctica and caused thinning above the Arctic. These ozone-destroying chemicals are being phased out under the 1987 Montreal Protocol.

The team’s calculations suggest that the havoc wreaked by water vapor could continue for days after a storm, as humidity levels slowly fall. As much as 25 to 35 percent of ozone, over a horizontal distance of 100 kilometers, could be annihilated in a week.

“I was surprised that so much ozone could be removed in such a short time,” says Dale Hurst, an atmospheric chemist at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

For now, the danger exists only on paper. Actual measurements tracking chlorine compounds in the stratosphere would help to confirm whether the damage is taking place and, if so, how widespread the problem may be. And while many climate simulations do call for more strong storms as temperatures continue to rise, the future is still somewhat fuzzy. A warmer atmosphere would hold more moisture but would also weaken the wind shear that whips up extreme weather.

“It’s a bold idea that raises more questions than it answers,” says Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University in College Station. “But this is what great scientists do; they come with ideas that spur people to start working on new things.”

Source: Science News / Devin Powell/ photo Credit: Carla Thomas/NASA

Entertainment

Top Ten DVD List for June 27, 2017

  This Week’s DVD Releases by Kam Williams Top Ten DVD List for June 27, 2017               The Lodger [Alfred Hitchcock Silent Film] https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06XP1WFQF/ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 Trespass [25th Anniversary Collector's Edition] https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B06XHR8T93//ref%3dnosim/thslfofire-20 Money [Heist Gone Bad Crime … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Books

Gil’s Goodwill!

  Gil Robertson The “Book of Black Heroes” Interview with Kam Williams Gil's Goodwill! For nearly three decades, writer/author Gil L. Robertson, IV has used the written word to enlighten, empower and uplift. The one-time political organizer initially made his mark in entertainment journalism, penning over 50 national magazine covers and contributing bylines to a wide range of publications that include the Los Angeles Times, the Atlanta … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the days of pain, the days of sorrow. We are in mourning. The sky looks down and sheds its tears for … [Read More its Good For You...]

Real Estate

How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate

  How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate by Amy Lignor   You want to buy that new house because the twins are on their way. Little Betty and Little John are already there, but who knew you would have even more so soon? What’s that? Oh…well, of course, in order to buy that new home with four bedrooms instead of two, you will also need to sell your present homestead in order to get the money needed to start paying on a new one. And, of … [Read More its Good for You.....]

Lifestyle

Ejogo’s Largo!

    Carmen Ejogo The “It Comes at Night” Interview with Kam Williams Ejogo's Largo! Carmen Ejogo has established a distinguished career in both feature films and television. She is best known thus far for her leading role of civil rights activist ‘Coretta Scott King’ opposite David Oyelowo in Ava DuVernay's universally acclaimed SELMA as well as being singled out for her ‘mind-blowing’ lead role as Sister in SPARKLE alongside … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Fishing for swordfish in Louisiana? You bet

  Fishing for swordfish in Louisiana? You bet by Craig Lamb The Mississippi River delta and surrounding offshore waters are without a doubt some of the richest fishing waters in the world. Venice, Louisiana, is the hub for reaching the richest saltwater game fish waters in the U.S. Yellowfin tuna. Snapper. Grouper. Wahoo. Dolphin. Marlin. And lately, there are swordfish. If you want to experience the latest hot trend in Louisiana … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

You Don’t Have to be Greek to be a “Zorba” Fanatic

  You Don’t Have to be Greek to be a “Zorba” Fanatic by Amy Lignor   No, the sport is not called ‘Zorba’, but it most definitely fits for this article’s title. This most unusual sport is actually called ‘Zorbing’, and has caught on like wildfire across the globe. And now, seeing as that the NBA has wrapped, with Golden State proving that they were determined to make amends for last season; and with the NHL closing up shop for the season … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects

  Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects by Amy Lignor   There are a whole list of summer activities for you and the kids planned. Most of them, of course, you want to be nothing but fun, such as grilling outside on the patio or swimming in the pool. However, having the backyard pool and patio are two things you really need in place before either of those activities could be enjoyed. And building this area could be a great … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All

    Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All by Amy Lignor   It is a fact that the largest travel locations are also beyond popular. Among the downsides of this fact is that when you’re looking for peace, quiet, and basically a chance to do nothing more than spend time with yourself and, perhaps, one other best friend, the most popular places don’t offer that. In other words, it is the most remote (sometimes most … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible – is already jotting down the facts, tricks and tips they need to know in order to make that … [Read More its Good for You...]