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Large ozone hole forms over northern hemisphere for first time

The uncertainty of science: For the first time since the 1980s, when scientists were first able to track the ozone layer and discovered the appearance of a winter ozone zone hole above Antarctica, scientists have detected the formation of a large winter ozone hole over the northern hemisphere.

The Arctic, which has more variable temperatures, doesn’t usually see the same ozone-depleting conditions, the researchers said. But this year, powerful winds trapped cold air in a “polar vortex” above the Arctic. That led to colder temperatures and more high-altitude clouds than normal. Hence, North Pole ozone-depletion began.

Fortunately, with the sun slowly getting higher over the Arctic, atmospheric temperatures are already beginning to increase, which means the conditions causing the ozone hole should soon change, the researchers said. However, if the hole continues to expand south, Arctic residents — like those living in southern Greenland — may need to apply sunscreen to prevent UV damage.

The article, as is usual for this topic, is filled with some ignorant assumptions about the south pole ozone hole that mirror similar ignorant assumptions related to global warming.

First, it assumes that one of the prime causes of the south pole ozone hole was the use of certain chemicals in spray cans, banned in 1987. This theory however was never proven, and had some very serious holes of its own. For example, the atmospheres of the northern and southern atmospheres are largely independent of each other. Almost all spray can use was in the northern hemisphere. Yet there no ozone hole occurred. No one has ever explained how northern hemisphere pollution only caused an ozone hole in the southern hemisphere.

Second, we have no data on the long term history of that south pole ozone hole prior to the 1980s. To assume human activity had caused it to suddenly appear in the 1980s was so large an assumption as to be ridiculous. More likely it was a normal winter event, on-going for eons, caused because the lack or reduction of sunlight hitting that layer prevented the ionization of oxygen molecules that turns them into ozone. Thus, no sunlight, no ozone, and you get a hole.

Third, though that south pole ozone hole has shown a 1% to 3% shrinkage, per decade, since the 1987 ban, that does not fit with what had been predicted in the 1980s when environmentalists pushed for the ban. Then, the hole was supposedly caused entirely by the spray cans, and once banned the hole would quickly dissipate. This very slow shrinkage seems instead nothing more than a long term variation of a normal yearly event.

Fourth, if banning the spray can chemicals would eliminate the ozone hole, why do we suddenly see a new hole in the northern hemisphere, decades after the chemicals were banned?

All in all, the data suggests that the ban was largely irrelevant to the comings and goings of the ozone layer. It might have been a good thing, but no one really knows.

But don’t worry. I guarantee some climate modeler will come along soon and tell us that this new hole was obviously caused by some new evil human activity, and demand that we ban it. It seems that is what our modern “science” modelers do.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • Phill O

    In the upper atmosphere

    O2 (Oxygen) plus hv (ultra-violet light) = O. (oxygen radical)

    O. + O2 = O3 (ozone)

    3SO2 + O3 = 3SO3

    We had, during the last year, a volcano erupt in Russia which put copious amounts of sulfur dioxide into the upper atmosphere. While not as much SO2 was put up there than when Pinatubo erupted, one would expect a significant reduction in ozone.

    I have argued for some time that we suddenly had the technology to detect ozone concentrations in the upper atmosphere and jumped to conclusions before we had any baseline data.

  • pzatchok

    Its all my fault I know it is.
    I am sorry.

    Everything is my fault. I am male, white, Catholic, heterosexual, and live a first world western life style. Everything is my fault.

  • Andi

    Fear not, pzatchok. All that needs be done is for the government to use some of that $2 trillion to supply everyone with ozone generators…

  • sippin_bourbon

    The words you are looking for are “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa”

    No the true culprit here started in 2016, around November 8th. It’s obviously just taken this long for it to reach a critical threshold. I wait with baited breath for the media to tell me how the correct vote this November will fix it all.

    (Heavy sarcasm throughout this post).

  • Mike Borgelt

    I think you will find that a Brit scientist name of Dobson found the hole over Antarctica in the 1950’s. Dobson units were named after him.

  • Seasonal thinning of stratospheric ozone in the Northern Hemisphere seems to have been known since at least the mid-90’s (

    My hypothesis was that combustion products from jet engines at altitude contributed to upper atmosphere ozone formation, and the markedly reduced air travel the last couple of months would have a measurable impact. That seems to be supported here (, but refuted here ( Who knows? It’s as credible an idea as anything else coming out of the climate ‘science’ field.

  • pzatchok

    I have always said the Ozone later has more in connection with the Sun and its activity than anything on Earth directly.

  • Phill O

    pzatchok “I have always said the Ozone later has more in connection with the Sun and its activity than anything on Earth directly.”

    The sun is required for upper atmosphere ozone production. Volcanos on earth are the major ozone elliminator, would be a little more accurate.

  • Max

    I have seen this headline before;

    To destroy? (Matter cannot be created or destroyed) or deplete the ozone, you must remove ozones oxygen source (20% of the atmosphere) or “turn off the sun” which is the source of the ionizing radiation that breaks oxygen apart to reform as ozone temporarily.
    Without the removal of one of these two components, O-Zone will always exist.

    Because of ozone’s higher energy state, ozone will react with almost anything including the most active ozone depletor in the upper atmosphere… Which is other ozone molecules. That’s right, ozone depletes ozone.

    A maximum of near 9 ppm (350 Dopson units) which depletes itself every night to near 3 ppm forming normal O2 oxygen before the process starts again the next day. Broken down nitrogen reacts to form nitrous oxide and speeds up the process. That’s why the sky glows green, as seen from the space station, every night until the cold of space freezes the process.

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