Antarctic ozone layer shows "first fingerprints of healing"

July 1, 2016 by  
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Nearly 30 years ago, almost every country in the world signed the Montreal Protocol to ban chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in refrigerators, aerosols, and dry cleaning. The chlorine in CFCs was said to interact with ozone in the atmosphere to deplete the ozone layer. MIT scientist Susan Solomon’s work helped provide the impetus for the Montreal Protocol, and now she’s the lead author on a study recently published in Science revealing the Antarctic ozone layer may be healing at last. Each year around August, the ozone hole begins to open, and is typically fully formed in October. In the past, scientists have usually scrutinized the ozone hole in October, but Solomon and her team – which includes five other scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado and the University of Leeds in the UK – decided to switch their focus to September. According to Solomon , “September is a better time to look because chlorine chemistry is firmly in control of the rate at which the hole forms at that time of the year.” The team tracked September ozone hole data between 2000 and 2015. They looked at satellite measurements of ozone and at meteorological changes. Related: New invention uses fluorescent lights to remove air pollution and stinky odors Their findings provide a lot of hope. Chlorine levels in the atmosphere are dissipating, and the ozone hole is shrinking. September’s ozone hole has diminished by over 4 million square kilometers, which is almost ” half the area of the contiguous United States .” The scientist team did see an ozone depletion spike in 2015, but were able to link it to a volcano eruption in Chile. Solomon thinks the ozone hole might even close up in the middle of this century. Solomon said , “We can now be confident that the things we’ve done have put the planet on a path to heal…Science was helpful in showing the path, diplomats and countries and industry were incredibly able in charting a pathway out of these molecules, and now we’ve actually seen the planet starting to get better. It’s a wonderful thing.” Via Phys.org Images via NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Pixabay

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Antarctic ozone layer shows "first fingerprints of healing"

Plush green-roofed cultural center replaces 2004 Olympic Games facilities in Athens

July 1, 2016 by  
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The Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center looks like an artificial hill that rises towards the south part of the site to a maximum height of 32 meters (104 feet), offering great views of the sea and the bay of Kallithea. A sloping park, planted with indigenous species and conceived by New York landscape designer Deborah Nevins , tops the opera house and the library. Related: London to get another Renzo Piano-designed tower at Paddington Station A large solar array was installed on the roof of the complex, which Piano calls the “flying carpet.” Inside, various functions and programs are organized around a central gathering space inspired by the agora, a typology dating back to ancient times. Over 5,000 manuscripts and documents are housed inside a large library. Various other spaces like a business incubator for entrepreneurs, a music recording studio and play areas for kids and teenagers are distributed across the first two floors, while the adjacent opera house features two auditoriums for traditional and experimental performances. + Renzo Piano Building Workshop Via Dezeen

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Plush green-roofed cultural center replaces 2004 Olympic Games facilities in Athens

The Ozone Hole Above Antarctica is as Big as North America

November 5, 2014 by  
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Data from NASA shows that this year’s hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica remains largely unchanged. On September 9, 2014, it measured 24.1m square km, which is roughly the size of North America; only a little smaller than the largest hole ever observed, which occurred in the same spot in 2000, and much the same as it was at its peak in 2010, 2012 and 2013. Read the rest of The Ozone Hole Above Antarctica is as Big as North America Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: air pollution , antarctica , CFCs , chlorine , chloroflourocarbons , global warming , hfcs , montreal protocol , ozone , ozone hole , ozone layer , skin cancer , UNEP

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The Ozone Hole Above Antarctica is as Big as North America

Proposal to Phase Out Super-Powerful Greenhouse Gases Would Slow Warming by 10 Years

November 9, 2010 by  
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Though enacted to stop the hole in the ozone layer, the Montreal Protocol may also be able to be used to combat climate change.

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Proposal to Phase Out Super-Powerful Greenhouse Gases Would Slow Warming by 10 Years

11 Fascinating New Species Found in the Amazon (Slideshow)

November 9, 2010 by  
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Photo credit: José Maria Fernández Díaz-Formentí The rainforests of the Amazon are one of the most amazing and unique ecosystems on the planet — the dense forests store between 90 and 140 billion tonnes of carbon and are home to one in 10 of every known species on earth. As huge as these numbers seem, they largely underestimate the significance of the Amazon. More than any other place, the Amazon rainforest is home to untold numbers of undiscovered species.

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11 Fascinating New Species Found in the Amazon (Slideshow)

Good News and Bad News About the Ozone Hole

December 6, 2009 by  
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Image via NASA Good news: The hole is getting smaller. Bad news: It was keeping temps lower.

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Good News and Bad News About the Ozone Hole

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