Mon Jun 26, 2017 | 03:41
Ozone hole causing rain in subtropics
Sat, 23 Apr 2011 10:13:05 GMT
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A new study shows the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica could be increasing precipitation as far away as the subtropical regions of the southern hemisphere.

For the first time scientists have found evidence to suggest the depletion of the thin ozone layer high above the South Pole can alter the wind patterns thousands of miles away that bring rain to the subtropics, reported The Independent.

The researchers believe the thinning of the ozone layer in the polar stratosphere over the past few decades as a result of the build-up of man-made pollutants has caused a southern shift of the westerly jet stream, which has caused a corresponding migration of the climatic bands that result in dry or wet conditions south of the equator.

"The ozone hole is over Antarctica, but it causes a moisturizing trend over subtropical regions of the world, such as eastern Australia," said Sarah Kang of Columbia University in New York, who led the study published in Science.

"Previous work has shown the impact of the ozone hole on the circulating winds at higher latitudes nearer the poles, but this is the first work to link the thinning of the ozone layer with circulation patterns at lower latitudes nearer the equator," she said.

The ozone layer in the stratosphere shields the Earth from damaging ultraviolet radiation from the Sun.

In the 1980s, scientists found that over the South Pole the layer was thinning significantly as a result of the use of industrial chemicals, notably chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) used in aerosols and refrigerants.

NN/TG/HRF
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