Ozone hole closure not so cool

Using a new global aerosol model and two decades of meteorological data, University of Leeds climatologists have discovered a feedback effect related to the ozone hole’s closure that could actually increase warming in the southern hemisphere.

The hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic was once regarded as one of the biggest environmental threats, but the new discovery shows that it has instead helped to shield this region from carbon-induced warming over the past two decades.

The new Leeds University study, published in Geophysical Research Letters, shows that high-speed winds in the area beneath the hole led to the formation of brighter summertime clouds, which reflect more of the sun’s powerful rays.

“These clouds have acted like a mirror to the sun’s rays, reflecting the sun’s heat away from the surface to the extent that warming from rising carbon emissions has effectively been cancelled out in this region during the summertime,” said study co-author Ken Carslaw. “If, as seems likely, these winds die down, rising CO2 emissions could then cause the warming of the southern hemisphere to accelerate.”

Key to this newly-discovered feedback is aerosol – tiny reflective particles suspended within the air that are known by experts to have a huge impact on climate. Greenhouses gases absorb infrared radiation from the Earth and release it back into the atmosphere as heat, causing the planet to warm up over time. Aerosol works against this by reflecting heat from the sun back into space, cooling the planet as it does so.

Beneath the Antarctic ozone hole, high-speed winds whip up large amounts of sea spray, which contains millions of tiny salt particles. This spray then forms droplets and eventually clouds, and the increased spray over the last two decades has made these clouds brighter and more reflective. As the ozone layer recovers it is believed that this feedback mechanism could decline in effectiveness, or even be reversed.

“Our research highlights the value of today’s state-of- the-art models and long-term datasets that enable such unexpected and complex climate feedbacks to be detected and accounted for in our future predictions,” concluded Carslaw.

Related:
Climatologists Mull Side-Effects Of Ozone Hole Closure
Global warming unstoppable?
Global warming estimates “fundamentally wrong,” contends new study
Climatologists get to grips with aerosols

Source: University of Leeds

, ,

Comments are closed.

Climate Change Global Warming Mug Heat Activated Unemployed Philosophers Guild picture

Climate Change Global Warming Mug Heat Activated Unemployed Philosophers Guild

$15.00



Climate Change Global Warming Mug Heat Activated Unemployed Philosophers 2005 picture

Climate Change Global Warming Mug Heat Activated Unemployed Philosophers 2005

$3.49



1935 Original POLITICAL CARTOON - GLOBAL WARMING (Cooling) CLIMATE CHANGE ?? picture

1935 Original POLITICAL CARTOON - GLOBAL WARMING (Cooling) CLIMATE CHANGE ??

$19.99



CLIMATE CHANGE GLOBAL WARMING WILDFIRES DROUGHT WEATHER  NATIONAL PARK BROCHURES picture

CLIMATE CHANGE GLOBAL WARMING WILDFIRES DROUGHT WEATHER NATIONAL PARK BROCHURES

$1.99



Postcard Pretty Girls Toss Snowballs at Melting Snowman Leaving Warming Climate picture

Postcard Pretty Girls Toss Snowballs at Melting Snowman Leaving Warming Climate

$8.95



World Globe Climate Change Warming Stripes Square Union Pin Pinback Button Badge picture

World Globe Climate Change Warming Stripes Square Union Pin Pinback Button Badge

$1.75



Global Warming Fox Earth Globe Fire Climate Change Funny Cute Kawaii Enamel Pin picture

Global Warming Fox Earth Globe Fire Climate Change Funny Cute Kawaii Enamel Pin

$14.99



Columbia Glacier Alaska Real Photo Postcard RPPC Climate Change Global Warming picture

Columbia Glacier Alaska Real Photo Postcard RPPC Climate Change Global Warming

$9.97



Florida, sunshine, beauty, fun, southeastern region, warm climate, Postcard picture

Florida, sunshine, beauty, fun, southeastern region, warm climate, Postcard

$13.45



Florida, Dan Peterson, warm climate, tourists, retirees, Walt Disney Postcard picture

Florida, Dan Peterson, warm climate, tourists, retirees, Walt Disney Postcard

$9.89



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes