Human activity is destroying the ozone layer — again

The ozone layer recovery could be delayed by as many as 30 years by rising industrial pollutants.

Climate change could add twice as many smog days in the United States

A new study suggests that in the United States, residents might experience three to nine more days of unhealthy ozone levels by 2050.

Short-lived chemicals that burn a hole in the ozone layer are on the rise

After scientists discovered a huge hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic, an emergency UN panel banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in 1987. These build up in the atmosphere, react with the triple oxygen molecule and break it down. Since then, ozone has thankfully replenished, thought it might take decades before it reverts to pre-1980 levels. Progress is slow because there are still some plants through out the world who illegally use CFCs (the stuff that used to go into refrigerants or deodorants), but also because there are other ozone-depleting chemicals out there – some recognized, others new and extremely dangerous. One class of chemicals that has been allowed in the industry since the Montreal Protocol, despite the danger it posses to ozone, is made up of so-called ‘very short-lived substances’ (VSLS) which breakup in under six months. A new study, however, found that these have dramatically increased over the past couple of years and despite their short reaction times, these could prove to be extremely dangerous.

Texas chief toxicologist: No need for smog regulations, just stay indoor

Dr. Michael Honeycutt, the top toxicologist in the state of Texas argued that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shouldn’t tighten smog rules because there would be little to no health benefit. “Ozone is an outdoor air pollutant because systems such as air conditioning remove it from indoor air,” he argues on a blog post on the TCEQ website. “Since most

World deforestation surprisingly results in net cooling effect

In the 1950s rainforests  covered 14% of the earth’s land surface; now they cover a mere 6% and experts estimate that the last remaining rainforests could be consumed in less than 40 years. It’s believed that deforestation accounts for about 20% of global emissions of CO2, because of the a reduced carbon storage capacity. Yet there may be a hidden side

Ground ozone pollution in India destroys enough crops to feed 94 million

Like most developing nations, India is burning a lot of coal to catch ground. As always the case with compromises such as these, economic growth comes at the expense of the environment. Pollution in Delhi, the capital, has reached levels comparable to Beijing, which is when you know you’ve hit a new low. A new study found high concentrations of surface

Ozone-depleting chemicals still spewed in atmosphere despite international ban

NASA reports significant quantities of ozone-depleting chemicals are still leaching into the atmosphere despite an international ban signed by all the world’s governments thirty years ago.

Oil and gas fields near rural Utah up to 100 times more polluted than busiest cities

Researchers at the  National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration have published findings that demonstrate what was speculated for a long time – oil and gas drilling in the vicinity of rural Utah is leaking important quantities of volatile chemicals, particularly high ozone levels, that are much higher than those typically found in busy cities. In fact, the pollution in the Uintah Basin is equivalent

Gamma-ray bursts might cause mass extinction on Earth

Most of us tend to believe the Earth is a safe heaven, with little regard to outerwordly consequences. The truth is our planet, although without a doubt a true gem within our galaxy, is susceptible to a slew of events triggered from within or well beyond our solar system. A lot of them are very dangerous to life on Earth,

Ozone layer found on Venus

ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft has found an ozone layer high in the atmosphere of Venus, similar to that surrounding Earth and Mars according to astronomers. Ozone is considered fundumental to providing an environment capable of supporting life, as it absorbs much of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet ray. This recent discovery will provide highly valuable insight as to how life formed on our

Dead human skin gathered in dust is good for the air

Ironically, while most tidy people in the world are busy dusting off furniture, electronics, ceilings, cats, whatnot, researchers have shown in a  recent study that the same dust is actually very good for the air, reducing ozone levels by 2 to 15 percent. All because of dead human skin. Ozone is crucial for preventing potentially damaging electromagnetic radiation from reaching

Dramatic never before seen depletion of ozone layer in the Arctic region

The ozone layer in the arctic regions has suffered unprecedented damage this winter due to cold weather in the upper atmosphere. By the end of March 40% of the ozone in the stratosphere had been destroyed, compared to the previous record of 30%. The European Space Agency, the UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) as well as the Alfred Wegener Institute