Well, this is unusual. I thought the world's 'socks' only got "holes" in them at the South Pole ...
Arctic ozone loss at record level
by Richard Black, Environment correspondent, BBC News -- 2 October 2011
Ozone loss over the Arctic this year was so severe that for the first time it could be called an "ozone hole" like the Antarctic one, scientists report.
About 20km (13 miles) above the ground, 80% of the ozone was lost, they say.
The cause was an unusually long spell of cold weather at altitude. In cold conditions, the chlorine chemicals that destroy ozone are at their most active.
"Winter in the Arctic stratosphere is highly variable - some are warm, some are cold," said Michelle Santee from Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
"But over the last few decades, the winters that are cold have been getting colder.
Who knew those Climate Change seasonal extremes, could happen at the Poles too. Crazy weather!
Those dang, Chlorinated fluorocarbons -- How long does it take to wash these destructive gases out of the sky, anyways? I thought we banned these CFC's already ...
A Significant Ozone Hole Is Reported Over the Arctic
by Felicity Barringer -- NYTimes -- October 3, 2011
Emissions of chlorinated fluorocarbons, or CFCs, once found in aerosol sprays, and other ozone-depleting substances like the soil fumigant methyl bromide produced the first ozone hole over the Antarctic, which was identified in 1985. Emissions of those compounds were banned under the Montreal Protocol, which has been signed by 191 countries.
Since 2000, concentrations in the atmosphere have been declining, but remain about 25 percent higher than when the ozone hole was identified, said Michelle L. Santee, a planetary scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and one of the paper’s authors.
“The root cause is the residual products from the CFCs that were released throughout the 20th century,” she said. “But they are very long-lived, and it will take a few decades for them to be cleansed from the atmosphere.”
A few decades more to cleanse the skies of CFC ... well that's good news. Good thing they were banned, eh?
But what about CO2 ... How long do they take, to get recycled out of the skies, back into the good Earth?
Climate Stabilization Targets
The National Academy of Sciences -- 2010
Emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels have ushered in a new epoch where human activities will largely determine the evolution of Earth’s climate. Because carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is long lived, it can effectively lock the Earth and future generations into a range of impacts, some of which could become very severe. Therefore, emissions reductions choices made today matter in determining impacts experienced not just over the next few decades, but in the coming centuries and millennia. Policy choices can be informed by recent advances in climate science that quantify the relationships between increases in carbon dioxide and global warming, related climate changes, and resulting impacts, such as changes in streamflow, wildfires, crop productivity, extreme hot summers, and sea level rise.
Climate Change Due to Carbon Dioxide Will Persist Many Centuries
Carbon dioxide flows into and out of the ocean and biosphere in the natural breathing of the planet, but the uptake of added human emissions depends on the net change between flows, occurring over decades to millennia. This means that climate changes caused by carbon dioxide are expected to persist for many centuries even if emissions were to be halted at any point in time.
This report provides a scientific evaluation of the implications of various climate stabilization targets. The report concludes that certain levels of warming associated with carbon dioxide emissions could lock the Earth and many future generations of humans into very large impacts; similarly, some targets could avoid such changes. It makes clear the importance of 21st century choices regarding long-term climate stabilization.
The National Academies appointed the above committee of experts to address the specific task requested by the Energy Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The members volunteered their time for this activity; their report is peer-reviewed and the final product signed off by both the committee members and the National Academies. This brief was prepared by the National Research Council based on the report.
Not so great. That CO2 already in the pipeline, will last for not decades more -- but for "centuries and millennia" more.
And the decisions we make about CO2 in the next few decades, will last the world a lifetime. Several generations of lifetimes, yet to be born.
So says the The National Academy of Sciences. But who need Science anyways? Crazy Scientists! ... What do they know anyways -- about Politics!