Monday, August 6, 2012

Climate Change Erodes the Ozone Layer

According to recent research climate change may damage the protective ozone layer, which protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation that causes skin cancer, cataracts, suppresses the human immune system, and damages crops and ecosystems.

The new research published by Harvard University found that extreme weather like climate-driven summer thunderstorms might introduce more water into the stratosphere, which can erode the protective ozone layer over the US and elsewhere.

This study draws attention to the urgency of our efforts to reduce short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) including black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Reducing SLCPs could cut the rate of global warming by at least half for the next several decades, prevent up to 4.7 million premature deaths each year and prevent billions of dollars in crop losses.

"The possibility of significant ozone depletion over North America is only the newest in a litany of accelerating impacts of climate change,” stated Durwood Zaelke, President of IGSD. “We cannot afford to wait to take fast-action.”

There are many unanticipated harmful consequences of global warming, which makes the point that we had better take precautions rather than wait to deal with the potentially irreversible side effects.

This study is one of the first to experimentally prove this hypothesize so other studies will need to follow. However it does make the point that is it better to act now rather than wait and see what kinds of devastation will come from a warming world.

© 2012, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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