PROTECTING EARTH’S OZONE LAYER ALSO HELPED SLOW CLIMATE CHANGE
9, 2007 — An international agreement to reduce ozone-depleting chemicals,
based in part on science conducted in the 1980s by NOAA
scientists and their colleagues, also has slowed global warming by years,
according to a new study by scientists at the NOAA
Earth System Research Lab and their partners. The double effect
occurred because compounds that destroy the atmosphere’s ozone
layer also act as greenhouse gases. The findings will be available in
the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online edition this
week. (Click NOAA satellite image for larger view of the March
7, 2007, analysis of the Southern Hemisphere total ozone from the an
instrument on board the NOAA polar orbiting satellite. Click
here for latest view. Please credit “NOAA.”)
Earlier studies showed that continued growth in ozone-depleting substances would lead to significant heating of Earth’s climate. The new analysis quantifies the near-term climate benefits of controlling these substances.
also explores options for reducing future use of ozone-depleting substances,
such as collecting and destroying chemical storage banks in old refrigerators
and air conditioners, choosing substitutes with low climate-warming
impact and evaluating the feasibility of further reducing overall emissions
of the substances.
Guus Velders of The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency and Stephen Andersen of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency led the study, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Besides Fahey, other authors are John Daniel, also of the NOAA Earth System Research Lab and Mack McFarland of DuPont Fluoroproducts, Wlimington, Del.
NOAA, an agency of the U.S. Commerce Department, is celebrating 200 years of science and service to the nation. From the establishment of the Survey of the Coast in 1807 by Thomas Jefferson to the formation of the Weather Bureau and the Commission of Fish and Fisheries in the 1870s, much of America's scientific heritage is rooted in NOAA. NOAA is dedicated to enhancing economic security and national safety through the prediction and research of weather and climate-related events and information service delivery for transportation, and by providing environmental stewardship of the nation's coastal and marine resources. Through the emerging Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), NOAA is working with its federal partners, more than 60 countries and the European Commission to develop a global monitoring network that is as integrated as the planet it observes, predicts and protects.
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