Ozone Depletion Sets Record
News story originally written on October 14, 1998
The ozone hole over the South Pole is larger than it has ever been since
scientists discovered it in the 1980's. They use the Total Ozone Mapping
Spectrometer (TOMS) and the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet Instrument
(SBUV) to measure the ozone levels.
Ozone absorbs ultraviolet light, which is a harmful part of sunlight. UV
rays cause sunburns.
Scientists aren't worried about the hole continuing to grow. They think
that the record size this year was due to temperatures in the
that were colder
than normal. But it is still a problem for
people in the southern hemisphere. They could face higher UV levels as
the hole breaks up and the low-ozone air spreads out and dilutes the
ozone in other places.
Ozone is measured in Dobson units. The average ozone level is 300 Dobson
units. This is a layer of ozone about 3 millimeters thick--how thick the
layer would be if you took everything besides ozone out of the air.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
includes fun classroom activities
for you and your students. Issues of NESTA's quarterly journal, The Earth Scientist
are also full of classroom activities on different topics in Earth and space science!
You might also be interested in:
It was another exciting and frustrating year for the space science program. It seemed that every step forward led to one backwards. Either way, NASA led the way to a great century of discovery. Unfortunately,...more
The Space Shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Center on October 29th at 2:19 p.m. EST. The weather was great as Discovery took 8 1/2 minutes to reach orbit. This was the United States' 123rd...more
A moon was discovered orbiting the asteroid, Eugenia. This is only the second time in history that a satellite has been seen circling an asteroid. A special mirror allowed scientists to find the moon...more
Will Russia ever put the service module for the International Space Station in space? NASA officials want an answer from the Russian government. The necessary service module is currently waiting to be...more
A coronal mass ejection (CME) happened on the Sun early last month. The material that was thrown out from this explosion passed the ACE spacecraft. The SWICS instrument on ACE has produced a new and very...more
J.S. Maini of the Canadian Forest Service called forests the "heart and lungs of the world." This is because forests filter air and water pollution, absorb carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and maintain...more
In late April through mid-May 2002, all five naked-eye planets are visible at the same time in the night sky! This is includes Mercury which is generally very hard to see. You won't want to miss this!...more