Four New Gasses Renew Man's Brutal Attack on the Ozone Layer

By Gary Cutlack on at

Remember the hole in the ozone layer? It was the old environmental crisis, from before everyone got worried about carbon and the ice caps melting so the woolly mammoths would come back to life and eat us all. Well, the ozone layer's back on the doom list, as mystery new gasses appear to be peeling away one of the planet's protective atmospheric layers once more.

Researchers from the University of East Anglia claim four new types of man-made gas are now continuing the kicking of the ozone layer, taking over from the chlorofluorocarbon gasses that made the news in the late 1980s. They suggest the suspect gasses didn't exist in the atmosphere at all until the 1960s, firmly pointing the finger of blame at man. Or the music of the Beatles.

Lead researcher Dr Johannes Laube said of the new ozone attack: "We don't know where the new gases are being emitted from and this should be investigated. Possible sources include feedstock chemicals for insecticide production and solvents for cleaning electronic components. What's more, the three CFCs are being destroyed very slowly in the atmosphere - so even if emissions were to stop immediately, they will still be around for many decades to come." [BBC]

Image credit: NASA