The increasing number of the stratospheric clouds in the winter fifteen miles above the earth has led to an improvement in the situation. The ozone layer has much to do with climatic changes. If there is ozone layer depletion there is a hole in the atmosphere. The several spheres in the atmosphere like the ionosphere, stratosphere etc. protect us from the sun’s harmful rays.
Steps should be taken to arrest the depletion of the ozone layer in the atmosphere. The Cambridge University scientists who did research on the ozone layer depletion said that the Arctic air masses drifted over the U.K. and the rest of Europe as far as Northern Italy, giving significantly higher doses of ultraviolet radiation and sunburn risk. The results of the scientists’ investigation which were announced at the Geophysical meeting at Vienna are part of a European venture, coordinated by the Cambridge University’s chemistry department which has been studying the relationship between the ozone layer and the climatic changes since the measurements began to be done about forty years ago.
The scientists thought that the situation would improve because of the phasing of CFCs and other chemicals. The pollution levels have leveled off but the changes in the atmosphere have made it easier for chemical reactions to take place and this allows pollution to destroy ozone. If these changes are likely to continue and get worse as global warming increases, the ozone layer will be further depleted even if the level of pollution goes down. The relationship between the ozone layer and the climatic changes is so complex that the European Union has invested eleven million pounds in a five-year project to understand and predict what is happening. Reporting the results of the first year the scientists predicted in a meeting at Vienna that ‘the atmospheric lifetime of these (ozone depletion) compounds is extremely long and the concentrations will remain at dangerously high levels for another half-century.’ Ice-clouds form between fourteen and twenty-six kilometers above the earth in the region where the protective ozone is found. Overall about thirty per cent of the ozone layer was destroyed, said a scientist.
He said that the cold condition which created the polar atmospheric clouds is more extensive than in the earlier years.