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  1. Tamino’s link’s in a thread that’s gone missing, I’d pointed to:

    I did email the contact link urging them to follow up, pointing out bloggers quoting the prediction as though it were confirmed well after it had failed. My email of late November was to be passed on to their media relations people, last I heard.

    I didn’t bother the scientist to whom the prediction was attributed, knowing press releases are often wrong!

    My interest is to see how their PR people follow up.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Dec 2008 @ 6:15 PM

  2. All of the links to the science of this (pro and con) are to sites requiring subscriptions. Is there something that can be freely accessed?

    Lu’s theory relates only to the ozone, right, not directly to climate change?

    Other than the fact that ozone is atmospheric phenomenon like climate and presumable influenced by human action like climate, is there real connection between ozone and global warming?

    Comment by Jim Cross — 14 Dec 2008 @ 7:22 PM

  3. Why is it that one year’s prediction being proved false is enough to discount this theory yet every time some CO2-based global warming prediction proves less than accurate it’s dismissed as insignificant in light of the large body of evidence that CO2-based global warming is real and happening. Now, don’t get me wrong, not taking sides here but it’s posts like this that provide the anti-AGW crowd with loads of ammunition.

    [Response: Actually the difference is quite profound. AGW doesn't predict what will happen in any one year. Everyone acknowledges that there is unforced variability in the system, and only in the case of very strong forcings (Pinatubo for instance) would you expect that a single year would be predictable. There certainly is some interannual variability in the ozone hole but it is small compared to the trend (esp. in Antarctica). The promoters of this hypothesis clearly thought that the forced signal (through GCR) would be larger than the noise, otherwise they wouldn't have proffered what they did. - gavin]

    Comment by Brian Cockrell — 14 Dec 2008 @ 8:07 PM

  4. Isn’t there supposed to be a non clorine mediated way for GCR to destroy ozone. At least the astronomers and mass extinction types seem to think that a nearby gamma-ray burst or supernova could alter the upper atmosphere enough to destroy enough of the ozone to great an extinction event. I think in this case, the additional ionizing radiation is supposed to generate certain damaging oxides of nitrogen, which destroy ozone. So presumably there is enough of a creation of these oxides to possibly be a problem at large doses (which would be very rare -say 1 over a few hundred million per year). So the question might arise, as the the extrapolation of this effect to minor changes in GCR levels. Would such an effect be of sufficient magnitude to make a detectable impact on ozone?

    Comment by Thomas — 14 Dec 2008 @ 8:09 PM

  5. This year is not exactly an average year by the provided link. It started considerably later but remained at an elevated level for a longer duration compared to other years. Rather strange. Also, while Nov 21 was at a record level, that’d would be cherry picking. Never the less, do the last 3 years levels correspond to the strength of the polar vortex during the same time period?

    Something does seem to be going on with this year.

    Comment by Andrew — 14 Dec 2008 @ 8:21 PM

  6. Hmmmm. After a quick review of the GCR Data (I love the Finns, and their FREE On-Line University Textbooks!), there – as usual – seems to be as much ‘Hot Air’ in the ‘contrarian-worlds’ conjetures, as there would seem to be ‘Water’ in yours.
    Still the Bloggers will be misled; because they do not desire to get off butts and walk to work, or because they just can’t bear the Idea of Life without some Big Carbon Footprint THING; and the OilCo Lackeys will continue to LIE EVER SO SWEETLY TO THEM – like Bad Parents appeasing a screaming BRAT with (yet another too many) piece of Candy.
    Still, Keep The Faith; I’M A BLOGGER – and I gave up my Sweet Tooth for My Mothers Sake. (Mother Earth, that is)
    Someday – hopefully no too far in the future (like, when I get the current Admins. lackeys off MY SSD Dependant back!) – I’ll join the ranks of ‘non-contrarian-worlders’, by getting an Enviro-Sciences PhD, too. (Though I’m not getting any younger!)

    Comment by James Staples — 14 Dec 2008 @ 8:46 PM

  7. Great quote: “To quote a recent Monbiot article: ”There is no pool so shallow that a thousand bloggers won’t drown in it.”

    Long live the Internuts!

    Comment by Danny Bloom — 14 Dec 2008 @ 9:03 PM


    Adrian L. Melott, Alex J. Krejci, Brian C. Thomas, Mikhail V. Medvedev, Graham W. Wilson, and Michael J. Murray


    It has been suggested that galactic shock asymmetry induced by our galaxy’s infall toward the Virgo Cluster may be a source of periodicity in cosmic ray exposure as the solar system oscillates normal to the galactic plane, thereby inducing an observed terrestrial periodicity in biodiversity. There are a number of plausible mechanisms by which cosmic rays might affect terrestrial biodiversity. Here we investigate one of these mechanisms, the consequent ionization and dissociation in the atmosphere, resulting in changes in atmospheric chemistry which culminate in the depletion of ozone and a resulting increase in the dangerous solar UVB flux on the ground.

    We estimate the enhancement of cosmic ray intensity for a range of reasonable parameters of the galactic wind and galactic magnetic field, and use these to compute steady-state atmospheric effects. At the lower end of this range, we find that the effects are far too small to be of serious consequence. At the upper end of this range, the level of ozone depletion approaches that currently experienced due to anthropogenic effects such as accumulated chlorofluorocarbons, i.e. 2.1% global average loss of ozone column density….

    ReCaptcha: “an Dobson”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Dec 2008 @ 10:18 PM

  9. Search was

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 14 Dec 2008 @ 10:20 PM

  10. #2 Jim Cross

    There’s very little overlap between the two subjects. Stratospheric cooling as a result of excess CO2 does influence ozone recovery, and ozone changes in the troposphere and stratosphere to have effects on radiative balance of the planet. Though global warming would be happening independent of ozone changes.

    Comment by Chris Colose — 14 Dec 2008 @ 11:01 PM

  11. Now this is interesting, the most interesting RC post I have seen this year.

    Comment by jcbmack — 14 Dec 2008 @ 11:12 PM

  12. 3 Thomas: A nearby supernova would be quite a different thing. The sun only varies by 0.1% and is brightest when there are the most sunspots. Solar X-rays vary by a factor of 100,000, but they are a small part of the sun’s energy. Cosmic rays have very little total energy by comparison. A nearby supernova would make enough gamma rays to sterilize the side of the earth facing the supernova. If the supernova is “over” the equator, life above ground and not deep in the ocean goes extinct that very day. If the supernova is “over” a pole, only one hemisphere is killed directly by radiation. Gamma rays could certainly ionize anything, making quite plausible all sorts of unusual reactions. I don’t know how deep into the ocean the gamma rays would retain killing power. It is clear that the atmosphere would be no barrier. A nearby supernova is something you don’t want to experience because you would be very unlikely to live longer than minutes to a few hours. A nearby supernova would be much brighter than the sun. Of course, that depends on how near. We would like supernovas to be more than 1000 light years away, preferably a lot farther than 1000 light years. We have not had any nearby supernovas, and we are not expecting any, any time soon. If there were one affecting our climate, you would have heard about it from RealClimate.

    Comment by Edward Greisch — 14 Dec 2008 @ 11:50 PM

  13. Gavin, it is difficult to actually keep straight what happens, but to be short about it your

    In the polar night, the presence of PSCs allows for a specific class of heterogeneous Cl reactions to occur on the surface of the cloud particles which turn out to be very efficient at destroying ozone. Hence the presence of an ozone hole in the very cold Antarctic polar vortex. Since PSCs are very sensitive to temperature, cold winter vortex conditions often presage a large ozone depletion the following spring (note that polar ozone depletion only occurs in sunlight and so is a spring time phenomena in both hemispheres).

    Is a bit off. Much (even most) of the chlorine atoms in the stratosphere are normally tied up in ClONO2, the adduct of ClO and NO2, aka a reservoir species, which by itself does not react with ozone. On PSC particles formed in the cold polar night, the ClONO2 molecules dissociate and NO2 is absorbed into the PSC particle, releasing the ClO. This is called de-noxification. If the particles get heavy enough the NOx is removed from the stratosphere by settling out. Thus, chlorine normally tied up in ClONO2 is freed up to react with ozone as ClO and Cl which it does at first light. (There is actually a movie of this which does not appear to work in FireFox :(

    OTOH, to first order this tells you why GCR ideas won’t work. Any additional Cl will quickly be tied up in ClONO2. The amount released in the winter will depend on the temperature in the psc to first order and the GCR dissociation only to second order. If this idea did work, you would see a much bigger effect with the solar cycle as more UV was available to dissociate the CFCs.

    [Response: Thanks. I was trying to keep it simple - but I'm happy to bow down to superior expertise on this. - gavin]

    Comment by Eli Rabett — 15 Dec 2008 @ 12:18 AM

  14. I looked at a number of years worth of ozone hole animation ( and there does appear to be a relationship between solar minima and ozone hole formation. In particular, compare 1987 and 1996 to 2008. Then look at 2002 and 2003.

    As Andrew said upthread, something does appear to be different this year.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 15 Dec 2008 @ 3:15 AM

  15. Nitpick on skepticisim: Dr Lu is indeed a genuine skeptic since as you point out he is willing to test his ideas. Dr Ball on the other hand does not deserve to be dignified by the term skeptic, “psudeo-skeptic” would be a much more accurate description.

    [Response: Agreed. - gavin]

    Comment by Alan — 15 Dec 2008 @ 5:29 AM

  16. #12 Eli: “If the particles get heavy enough the NOx is removed from the stratosphere by settling out. ”

    I would add settling at the center of the vortex (ground zero of of ozone holes), nothing settles well in Vortex Upper Winds upwards of 100 sometimes exceeding 200 knots. The vortex is one huge mixing area.

    Comment by wayne davidson — 15 Dec 2008 @ 5:33 AM

  17. #9

    Chris, that’s what I thought too.

    So even if Lu’s theories are right, it doesn’t help the GCR argument and, if they are wrong, it doesn’t hurt it.

    Comment by Jim Cross — 15 Dec 2008 @ 7:24 AM

  18. On Tim Ball and Reber, their “You’re Wrong” pages went dead at AOL. Anywhere fresh links, maybe the time machine?

    Really liked these short debunks.

    reCaptcha is scary… there’s the very Benvenuto Cellini playing this minute from the laptop speakers.

    Comment by Sekerob — 15 Dec 2008 @ 9:03 AM

  19. Excuse this OT interpolation, but will (or has) RC addressed the premise of this post from The Oil Drum:

    An increasing level of acceptance and public support of global warming has been achieved, in part, by the repetition of stories that the world is warming, and that we can anticipate, as a result, that the ice fields of Greenland, the Arctic region as a whole, and Antarctica will melt, causing sea levels to rise dramatically. There is, however, as they say, a slight technical hitch to this concept. Nature is not co-operating, and the predicted events are not occurring with the inexorability that was initially projected….

    [Response: Same old. Cherry pick data, erect and demolish strawman predictions, comfort yourself in self-delusion. Dressing it up as concern for scientists credibility is touching but fundamentally misleading. - gavin]

    Comment by jhm — 15 Dec 2008 @ 10:36 AM

  20. #14 Furrycatherder
    The study titled “ATMOSPHERIC CONSEQUENCES OF COSMIC RAY VARIABILITY IN THE EXTRAGALACTIC SHOCK MODEL” shows in their figure 3a that there oscillations in the atmospheric O3 column density as a function of time and the oscillations are due to annual and 11 year solar cycles.

    It is also clear that sunspots/solar activity and climate are linked (IPCC Report AR4 1.4.3 “The solar cycle variation in irradiance corresponds to an 11-year cycle in radiative forcing which varies by about 0.2 W m–2. There is increasingly reliable evidence of its influence on atmospheric temperatures and circulations…could cause surface temperature changes of the order of a few tenths of a degree Celsius“.

    What satellites are recording the data to help determine how much GCR’s cause more clouds? Also, wouldn’t having less of a magnetic field allow more GCR’s and then perhaps more clouds?

    Comment by William — 15 Dec 2008 @ 10:36 AM

    Why Tim Ball is Wrong (c) 2007 by Barton Paul Levenson

    Nothing for Reber. But I think Barton revived them somewhere.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Dec 2008 @ 11:27 AM

  22. Ozone hole and global warming.

    Although they involve quite different science there is a serious link between the issues at policy level.

    “The slowdown in the growth rate of GHG climate forcing from
    the peak in the 1980s is due mainly to the phase-out of CFC
    production. If the 10% per year exponential growth of CFC
    production that existed until the 1970s had continued for several
    more years, the MPTG climate forcing (mostly from CFC-11 and
    CFC-12) now would exceed that of CO2 (15).”

    [Hansen, J. and Sato, M, 2004, Greenhouse gas growth rates, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., 101,on line version p.16 109-16 114].

    the second connection is that many of the same anti-environmentalists have been involved in both cases. If the pro-CFC lobby had won they could have done two lots of damage.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 15 Dec 2008 @ 1:39 PM

  23. gavin wrote: “This is the same logic as assuming that because salt makes food taste better, throwing it behind your shoulder must bring luck.”

    The idea that throwing salt behind your shoulder “brings luck” is just plain silly. Everyone knows that when you spill some salt, you should throw a bit over your shoulder to fend off bad luck, which is an entirely different matter.

    Comment by SecularAnimist — 15 Dec 2008 @ 1:44 PM

  24. All this stuff about NOx settling out reminds me how strange of a climate Antarctica has. Sounds more like something one would expect on a moon of Jupiter than here on earth.

    Lets see, it has the coldest, dryest, highest average elevation and greatest albedo of anyplace. Probably has the thinnest troposphere, fewest frontal systems and least amount of outgoing IR.

    If the place warms at all then it means more snow.

    I can guess that the O3 hole started forming later this year becasue possibly the votex was tighter than normal and the PSC were further south than otherwise. Alternatively, maybe the NOX didn’t fall out like it normally does.

    Dunno for sure.

    Comment by Andrew — 15 Dec 2008 @ 1:56 PM

  25. #19–
    Yes, Barton’s page on Reber is here:

    (Reassemble the geo-cities URL before pasting; the word catches in the spam filter here at RC.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 15 Dec 2008 @ 2:18 PM

  26. RE “He also includes standard statements implying that scientists implicated CFCs in ozone depletion to deprive the developing world of refrigeration”

    I think Dr. Ball is grossly overestimating the “sensitivity” of human behavior to ozone-hole or any environmental harm/threat. From what I understand the economically advancing 3rd worlders are snapping up refrigerators pretty fast.

    But I must say that from my readings (I may be wrong) many from poorer countries seem more amenable to addressing AGW & the ozone hole than Americans (no stats on this, just my impression from anecdotal reading).

    RE the post in general, this seems like a new denialist strategy: Try to use any unsubtantiated idea on some other topic not strickly (but round about) related to GW to deny AGW. And if that fails, well at least the focus would have been shifted away from AGW to some other topic.

    Comment by Lynn Vincentnathan — 15 Dec 2008 @ 2:24 PM

  27. Firts kudos to Eli’s response that prett much sums it up without getting to verbally entangled, also the refutuations to Lu’s hytpothesis in the literature indicates a slight, but very minor influence of cosmic rays on ozone depletion which is quickly reversed anyways as chlorine is bound back to chlorine nitrate. There was a record depletion in 2006, but does not correlate well with some kind of cosmic ray ozone depleting trend.

    Comment by jcbmack — 15 Dec 2008 @ 2:32 PM

  28. William, you asked
    15 décembre 2008 @ 10:36 AM
    “… how much GCR’s cause more clouds?
    … less of a magnetic field allow more GCR’s and then perhaps more clouds?”

    You’ll get a good start with the references included here:

    ReCaptcha: “recent- e’tude”

    Thankew. Yep, don’t neglect more recent work while looking the studies mentioned; Google Scholar gives a link for doing that.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Dec 2008 @ 3:23 PM

  29. For any of the ozone experts– I’m wondering if anything substantial ever came from the Pope et al. paper last year(reported on at RC) suggesting reduced ability for UV to break apart Cl2O2, much moreso than had been thought?

    Comment by Chris Colose — 15 Dec 2008 @ 3:40 PM

  30. #26–Lynn, I agree. This does however point out the lack of cohesiveness to denialist positions that Gavin and others have identified.

    For a great many of these folks, as long as an idea appears to attack the AGW hypothesis (term used without prejudice) it doesn’t matter whether or not it is consistent with anything else they may previously have asserted. Thus, we get things like this: “1) GW isn’t happening; and 2) warming is happening equally on all bodies in the solar system, so the sun must be doing it.” (Naturally, I am condensing and paraphrasing here, but I don’t think I distort.)

    For those of us who are not equipped to parse the science and math in detail, this type of–well, let’s be kind and call it “analysis”–is most helpful in deciding whom to believe. That, and checking the sources before believing assertions.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 15 Dec 2008 @ 3:55 PM

  31. 0800h
    AN: GP11A-0709
    AU: Moran, E H
    * Tindall, J A
    AB: Relations between Earth’s magnetic intensity and climatic temperatures were suggested and investigated during the 1970′s and early 1980′s. The strong statistical correlation was dismissed owing to no explanation for the process. However, research shows that the intensity of a material’s magnetic field changes as the material’s temperature changes, thus suggesting that the Earth’s core temperature varies. Additional and more complete global-scale datasets and advanced analytical techniques indicate that global and, to a lesser degree, continental average annual temperatures respond significantly to secular variations of core- generated magnetic intensity. Simple polynomial-regression techniques show that globally-averaged secular variations predict and explain 79-percent of the variability in global average-annual temperatures 7-years in the future; thus suggesting another or additional process contributing to climate change.
    DE: 1616 Climate variability (1635, 3305, 3309, 4215, 4513)
    DE: 3305 Climate change and variability (1616, 1635, 3309, 4215, 4513)
    DE: 6620 Science policy (0485)
    SC: Geomagnetism and Paleomagnetism [GP]
    MN: 2008 Fall Meeting

    [Response: Wow. I will confidently predict that this is based on nothing more than statistical fits of decadal scale periods and that no mechanisms will be apparent. - gavin]

    Comment by ehmoran — 15 Dec 2008 @ 5:17 PM

  32. Chris Colose asks about ClOOCl paper of Pope et al 2007. Here is an interesting idea: the most stable Cl2O2 isomer is actually ClClOO !

    Author(s): Matus MH (Matus, Myrna H.)1, Nguyen MT (Nguyen, Minh T.)1, Dixon DA (Dixon, David A.)1, Peterson KA (Peterson, Kirk A.)2, Francisco JS (Francisco, Joseph S.)3,4
    Source: JOURNAL OF PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY A Volume: 112 Issue: 40 Pages: 9623-9627 Published: OCT 9 2008
    Times Cited: 0 References: 75 Citation MapCitation Map beta
    Abstract: High level ab initio electronic structure calculations at the coupled cluster level with a correction for triples (CCSD(T)) extrapolated to the complete basis set limit have been made for the thermodynamics of the Cl2O2 isomers: ClClO2, ClOOCl, and ClOClO. The ClClO2 isomer is predicted to be the most stable isomer and is more stable than ClOOCl by 3.1 kcal/mol at 298 K. The ClOClO isomer is less stable than ClOOCl by 8.3 kcal/mol at 298 K. The weakest bond in ClClO2 is the Cl-Cl bond with a bond dissociation energy (BDE) of 24.4 kcal/mol, and the smallest BDE in ClOOCl is the O-O bond with a value of 18.0 kcal/mol. The smallest BDE in ClOClO is for the central O-Cl bond with a BDE of 9.7 kcal/mol. Electronic transitions were calculated with the equations of motion EOM-CCSD method. The calculations clearly demonstrate that singlet states Of ClClO2 absorb to longer wavelengths in the visible than do the singlet states of ClOOCl as does ClOClO.

    Comment by t_p_hamilton — 15 Dec 2008 @ 6:11 PM

  33. “[Response: Same old. Cherry pick data, erect and demolish strawman predictions, comfort yourself in self-delusion. Dressing it up as concern for scientists credibility is touching but fundamentally misleading. - gavin]”

    Well, if you want people to support your scientific theory, perhaps you’d have better luck if the reasons for variations were better presented?

    I’ve said it before, when I talk about “AGW” to people and use the term “Climate Change” or “Climate Chaos”, they are a lot more accepting than “Global Warming”. There are a million homes in New England where people would like a bit of “Global Warming” right about now. It’s 32F where I live, and has been 32F since 2AM this morning when a cold front blasted through. I suspect most of D/FW would like some as well.

    And that’s why people cherry pick.

    [Response: I'm well aware of why people do it. Doesn't make it any more relevant scientifically. - gavin]

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 15 Dec 2008 @ 6:28 PM

  34. Slightly off topic, but not totally and in a good cause: the continuning battle against ‘skeptics’ What occupations/professions would climate scientists accept as falling with the rubric of ‘climate scientist”?

    Captcha appearance it: very Buddhist…all is illusion?

    Comment by Paul Harris — 15 Dec 2008 @ 6:29 PM

  35. #28


    I went back and checked that link. I think I had read it when it was originally posted.

    However, I noticed something this time.

    Here’s a direct quote from it:

    “It is possible that GCRs do have an effect on climate through the modulation of clouds, but I don’t think it is very strong.”

    Embedded in the quote is a link to this:

    The link is to an article that in its abstract says:

    “Galactic cosmic ray (GCR) changes have been suggested to affect weather and climate, and new evidence is presented here directly linking GCRs with clouds.”


    “Across the UK, on days of high cosmic ray flux (above 3600×102neutron countsh−1, which occur 87% of the time on average) compared with low cosmic ray flux, the chance of an overcast day increases by (19±4) %”

    Now 20% doesn’t seem insignificant to me.

    Comment by Jim Cross — 15 Dec 2008 @ 6:48 PM

  36. Yep, and further down
    “… Although the statistically significant nonlinear cosmic ray effect is small …”

    Keep reading the new research, there are more newer links on that page since the last time I looked at it.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Dec 2008 @ 8:42 PM

  37. Its nice to see actual science discussed on this site. What I like here was that a testable prediction was made. It may not have came true, but now science can advance. There are some comments about we never predicted this or that on global warming. What are the exact predictions. Can a testable prediction be made like the ozone hole prediction. I realize that it can’t be a short term prediction like that one, but I want some kind of pass/fail criteria stated in easy terms and not a bunch of links to confuse the question.

    Comment by Kevin B — 15 Dec 2008 @ 8:58 PM

  38. Comments to #31 response


    Did you forget who I was??

    Ted Moran

    [Response: Well, I don't know you. But for such an impressive-sounding claim, I will need substantial evidence to be swayed by it. - gavin]

    Comment by ehmoran — 15 Dec 2008 @ 9:43 PM

  39. re: 33. Those people in New England and D/FW who are shivering now are experiencing cold *weather* (although note it was an ice storm, not a snow storn, which means there was a warm layer aloft). What has happened in D/FW and New England over the past few days is not really relevant to long-term warming trends which is *climate*. BTW, it was in the balmy *70s* today in NC and Virginia which you conveniently ignored; and yes, that warm *weather* is not relevant to long-term trends either.

    If people do not understand the difference between weather and climate, it does not change any scientific facts re: global warming.

    Comment by Dan — 15 Dec 2008 @ 9:47 PM

  40. Furrycatherder,
    It as been significantly colder and snowier where I live for the last two winters. Doesn’t mean the globe isn’t warming, it means I happen to live in a place where the effects of La Nina are quite strong. I don’t see how calling it climate change instead of global warming would make people more accepting of what is really happening.

    Comment by Figen Mekik — 15 Dec 2008 @ 10:56 PM

  41. Last summer! Remember article

    Jim and I are presenting our the poster at AGU this year.

    [Response: Oh yes. I also remember the use of at least four sock puppets to support the paper in this thread (please don't do that again). - gavin]

    Comment by ehmoran — 15 Dec 2008 @ 11:02 PM

  42. Is that paper available in full anywhere, for those of us whose basic-rate AGU memberships offer only EOS and Physics Today? Just a curious bystander, but I wondered if there’s anything there about temperature measurement say at deep sea or borehole depths, and whether — and with what kind of time lag– any change in the planet’s deep temperature would be expected to show up at or near the surface.

    Or is there some way heating at the core could jump to the atmosphere without showing up in between?

    Would you expect a surface change like the start or end of an ice age to propagate downward faster, or slower, than a change of core temperature? How much natural variation is there? That kind of thing.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Dec 2008 @ 11:07 PM

  43. No paleo data used in the study. But the occurrence of deep ocean warming has been published.

    Comment by ehmoran — 15 Dec 2008 @ 11:24 PM

  44. > deep ocean warming

    Can you narrow that down a bit? Perhaps give us at least your reference list, if not the full text?

    Scholar: Results… about 104,000 for deep ocean warming.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 15 Dec 2008 @ 11:54 PM

  45. Is that what they’re called!!!

    Well, I appreciate the professionalism, the chance to defend myself, and no personal attacks against us this time.

    Thanks Gavin and thank you Hank for the questions.


    Comment by ehmoran — 16 Dec 2008 @ 12:08 AM

  46. KevinB, 37.

    Yes, there is a testable theory central to AGW: CO2 is a greenhouse gas.

    Try it.

    Comment by Mark — 16 Dec 2008 @ 4:04 AM

  47. In re #33 –

    “[Response: I’m well aware of why people do it. Doesn’t make it any more relevant scientifically. - gavin]”

    Would it be better to change terminology and get people to change their behavior to achieve a desired outcome, or to use a specific term that the scientific community feels is somehow more valid descriptively that alienates people from the desired outcome?

    It’s like how I approach getting people to conserve energy. I can tell them “Global Warming!”, or I can tell them “You’ll save tons of money.” When I explain how to save tons of money, they act.

    I’m a “results” kinda gal.

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 16 Dec 2008 @ 5:13 AM

  48. Re #41, So the Earths atmosphere and oceans are warming from either GCR from outer space (and not the Sun although its lack of activity is part of the issue) or from earths inner molten core changing range of activity which makes me think WOW how scientists and others come up with a plethora of other possibilities for why burning fossil fuels is not responsible.

    Just makes you realise that science is a very healthy and active process for everyone who can argue against the cosensus hypothosis just like David Archer stated in his book about how the scientific process unlike any other is set up to shoot the consensus and not to strenghten it, more Nobels that way unless of course the consensus is right. Great book too.

    err, I hope I got that interpretation right of his scientific philosophising in the book.

    Comment by pete best — 16 Dec 2008 @ 5:35 AM

  49. Additional minor but interesting Tid(m)bits.

    These are quotations and not opinions.

    1) In an article in the Western Producer, Ball was quoted as saying
    that CFC’s could not possibly affect the atmosphere because they are
    “heavier than air” and could not rise. I am pleased to say that this
    seems to indicate that one of my children at age 8 also qualified as
    the First and Greatest PhD in Climatology in Canada etc., etc.

    2) Ball was one of three people invited as scientists to testify
    before the 1992 House Standing Committee on Ozone Depletion (Canada).
    I have the official transcripts and the video of this event, (Issue
    No. 35, Minutes of Proceedings and Evidence of the Standing Committee
    on Environment Respecting: Pursuant to Standing Order 108-2,
    Consideration of the Depletion of the Ozone Layer, Third Session of
    the Thirty-fourth Parliament of Canada, 1991-92). Two qualified
    atmospheric chemists gave detailed science seminars explaining of the
    problem with atmospheric ozone depletion. Ball was next, in full
    denial of any problem with CFC’s or the ozone, and refused to discuss
    the actual science, despite repeated requests from Members of
    Parliament (all in the transcripts). (Last year he reiterated this
    view, in an interview with a national paper. The audio of that
    interview is linked here:

    Instead, (based on the offical transcripts and video) he gave a speech
    describing environmental concerns as “crying wolf”, and labeled David
    Suzuki’s discussion of climate issues as “reprehensible”. He then gave
    his version of a short geography lesson. He mentioned the fossil trees
    on Axel Heiberg Island in the Canadian Arctic, and denied that their
    presence indicated a warmer past, claiming instead that when they were
    formed (which was around 40-45 million years ago), this land were near
    the tropics because of continental drift. As you probably know, this
    claim is nonsense. The Canadian arctic land mass was more or less in
    the same place 45 million years ago, and the north did indeed have a
    warm climate then. He (a physical geography professor) might have been
    unclear on continental drift, confusing the time period with
    conditions hundreds of millions of years earlier.

    He ended by expressing his interesting personal (dual) experiences
    with science funding:

    “I gave a two-hour presentation on global warming to graduate students
    and faculty at the University of Alberta. The very first question was
    ‘Is it true you’ve been denied funding by the major funding agencies
    in Canada?’ The answer is no, because I have never asked. The point
    of the question was to assail my credibility. If you are not funded
    by NRC and SSHRC, your research is considered valueless.”

    and then

    “In response to the question, as a historical climatologist – and I
    referred to the fact that I hadn’t got funding from NRC or SSHRC when
    I first applied because I fall in between the cracks. As a
    climatologist, I’m classified as a scientist. When I go to NRC they
    say oh, no, history, that’s SSHRC. You go to SSHRC and they say, oh,
    a historical climatologist. That’s climate, that’s science.”

    At the end of the session, the moderator stood and thanked three
    separate speakers for “two interesting presentations”.

    Comment by Dan — 16 Dec 2008 @ 7:59 AM

  50. ehmoran

    I have heard about geomagnetic forcing before, but that is all. I don’t understand your post. Perhaps you can classify it?

    Type 1. Greenhouse or aerosol forcing and and cosmic ray conjecture work by modulating existing energy flows, like treading on a hose pipe.

    Type 2. Solar forcing is a varying energy source.

    Is your suggestion type 1 or type 2 ? Each possibility would raises further questions .. but this is not my area.

    Comment by Geoff Wexler — 16 Dec 2008 @ 9:51 AM

  51. > Is that what they’re called!!!

    Yep, that was pointed out in and I gave you the term for it explicitly.

    Did you forget who you were?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Dec 2008 @ 10:19 AM

  52. Dang. Maybe this Preview thingy isn’t a bad idea after all….
    … in that thread
    Well, I was young and impatient, and took a while to learn about online manners (at 300 baud). I can’t cast the first scone.

    I found too many possible papers to figure out your hint about the deep sea temperatures having been published. Author?
    References? full text, at some point?

    Is the idea warmth moving by conduction up through layers, or some magnetic induction that jumps past them? What’s the likely rate of change in temperature through the medium and the magnitude of the effect compared to what we know about CO2 currently? If that’s not addressed it’d be timely to weigh it.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Dec 2008 @ 10:35 AM

  53. Why are you throwing cakes? Is this a Marie Antoinette thing?

    Comment by Richard C — 16 Dec 2008 @ 12:40 PM

  54. Nice post! Getting back to measurements… At NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory (NOAA/ESRL) many of the ozone depleting substances (ODS) have been measured in the troposphere for a couple of decades (i.e. CFC-11, CFC-12, CCl4,…). We have increased our global monitoring efforts over the years by extending our measurement programs to more sites and compounds (CH3Br, CH3Cl, halons, HCFCs, HFCs, etc).

    But can we address questions like… Are the ozone-destroying chemicals declining in the atmosphere? When do we expect the ozone hole above Antarctica to disappear? To tackle these types of questions NOAA/ESRL developed an Ozone Depleting Gas Index (ODGI).

    This index is derived from atmospheric measurements of chemicals that contain chlorine and bromine at multiple remote surface sites across the globe. It is defined as 100 at the peak in ozone depleting halogen abundance as determined by NOAA observations,and zero for the level corresponding to when recovery of the ozone layer might
    be expected, based on past data and future projections from international assessments.

    As of 2007 the ODGI was at 85.9 or down 14% since the Montreal Protocol and amendments were enacted.

    While the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer must be considered a huge success and a model for future efforts to stem climate change, ozone layer recovery is expected only with sustained declines in atmospheric chlorine and bromine in future years and continued adherence to the production and consumption restrictions outlined in the Protocol. Recovery of the ozone layer is expected as the ODGI approaches zero, though the timing of complete ozone layer recovery is difficult to determine exactly because other chemical and physical factors such as climate change also influence stratospheric ozone abundances and the efficiency for chlorine and bromine to destroy stratospheric ozone.

    Scientist will argue over the details as to when the Ozone Layer will recovery — and how best to detect early signs of recovery. However, the chlorine and bromine in the stratosphere is still ~85% greater than before the ozone hole formed.

    Comment by GD — 16 Dec 2008 @ 4:09 PM

  55. #31: You can correlate the importation of bananas with the divorce rate in NYC, too, but that doesn’t mean there’s a cause-effect relationship.

    Comment by Maya — 16 Dec 2008 @ 5:09 PM

  56. ¿Could someone explain me how this year is “merely about average for the decade” when it looks well over it?

    Comment by m34 — 16 Dec 2008 @ 5:48 PM

  57. Oops. This isn’t a _change_ in reality, it’s a change in what we thought we knew about it.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 16 Dec 2008 @ 7:33 PM

  58. It’s nice to witness the actual moment of discovery and personal growth:

    #31: You can correlate the importation of bananas with the divorce rate in NYC, too, but that doesn’t mean there’s a cause-effect relationship.

    Comment by Dan — 17 Dec 2008 @ 10:32 AM

  59. Sekerob –

    I moved my web site to (take out the hyphen):

    The Ball and Reber pages hang off there.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Dec 2008 @ 7:24 AM

  60. Thanks to everybody who complimented my pages on Ball and Reber. Those guys depend on people not knowing statistics. In fact, AGW denial in general…

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 18 Dec 2008 @ 7:27 AM

  61. Ah, fun in denialsville–this morning it was a gentleman (I presume) who was peddling the work of the good Herr Beck regarding atmospheric CO2–thanks to RC for the succinct critique of that incredible–and I do mean that literally!–piece of work–and claiming that the “political AGW movement” predated the science by at least a decade.

    If we count Fourier, I guess that would take anti-AGW activism right back to Napoleonic times! Nice to be part of a venerable tradition. . . but I wish we’d been able to get mitigation onto the table at the Congress of Vienna.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 18 Dec 2008 @ 9:34 AM

  62. “Nurtured by environmental hysteria and the determination to show all changes in the natural world are due to human activity, the claim CFCs were destroying ozone jumped directly from an unproven hypothesis to a scientific fact.”
    It may be inconvenient, but the evidence actually supports this…
    The 1974 paper by Molina and Rowland in NATURE was published on June 28th. It coincided with a May 31st paper in SCIENCE by London and Kelley ( confirming an UPWARD trend in global total atmospheric ozone in the 1960s. What happened? The predicted and widely-publicized downward trend in global ozone was not apparent until the early 80s where a 4% depletion of ozone from 1979 to 1985 was clear. Panicky at the time, this “depletion” simply brought the average global ozone level back down to near 300 Dobson units — the same value London and Kelley gave for the late 60s. Then, from 1985 through 1990, in spite of a 25% increase in cumulative CFC-chlorine, global ozone remained virtually unchanged (Herman et al. J. Geophys. Res. 1991, Table 2). Their 1985-1990 global average was 301±2 DU. No NET global ozone depletion since the 1960s? None at all for six years running in the 80s? Strange results if CFCs are the cause and GLOBAL ozone depletion the effect, a connection that remains unproven to this day.
    Do other data support the CFC-Ozone theory? Molina and Rowland hypothesized that maximal ozone depletion from CFC destruction would take place in the middle stratosphere between 25 and 35 km, with negligible photodissociation of CFCs below 25 km. The catalytic ozone-destructive ClO molecules peak near 40 km with little or none present below 25 km. The inorganic chlorine below 25 km is HCl and CLONO2, both derived predominantly from non-CFCs (Zander et al., 1992, J. Atmos. Chem. 15, 171). Subsequent studies (Stolarski et al., 1992, SCIENCE, 256, 342) showed that the large decreases in ozone take place in the lower stratosphere, below 25 km. Nothing much in the follow-up data fits the theory very well. Neither did this theory work to explain the ozone hole which is why the esoteric heterogenous theory arose. Perhaps if Rowland, Molina and others had not ignored the research on the UPWARD trend in total ozone in the 60s (they were completely aware of this in 1975), and had not chosen to start the ozone-depletion scenario in 1978 with the first TOMS measurements from the Nimbus 7 satellite, the then-worrisome six-year downward trend might not have seemed so ominous and urgent to the public. CFCs would probably be less of an ozone depletion concern and more important as a greenhouse gas concern. The right result for the wrong reason?

    Comment by Ken — 26 Dec 2008 @ 3:08 PM

  63. The catalysis happens at the end of the polar night, temperature-dependent. It’s misleading to quote only “total global” measurements. Read the abstract one of the papers you give as a reference:

    ” The trend is near zero (0.0002 .+-. 0.2%/yr) at the equator and increases towards both poles. At the annually averaged trend is -0.5 .+-. 0.21%/yr. The trend over the 11.6 yr time period shows a strong seasonal variation from more than -0.8%/yr in winter and early spring (Feb. and Mar.) to about -0.2%/yr in summer (July and August).”

    Stolarski, Richard S.; Bloomfield, Peter; McPeters, Richard D.; Herman, Jay R.
    Geophysical Research Letters (1991), 18(6), 1015-8 CODEN: GPRLAJ; ISSN: 0094-8276. English.

    I find bits of that at junkscience and Marohasty but who threw it all together? Pointer please?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Dec 2008 @ 7:31 PM

  64. > below 25 km


    “Nearly complete ozone depletion occurs between 13 km and 23 km, where extremely low temperatures support the heterogeneous photo-chemical destruction of ozone. But, above and below these heights the air temperature is not low enough for this type of ozone destruction, and ozone amounts remain virtually unchanged. The most recent ozone soundings from the South Pole are available from NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory – Global Monitoring Division.”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Dec 2008 @ 7:45 PM

  65. By the way, Ken, you ought to cite the text that you’ve pasted in.

    So, who are you quoting there? Who actually wrote:

    “… environmental hysteria and the determination to show all changes in the natural world are due to human activity ….” and attributed that to Rowland, Molina and the other scientists in the field?

    Whoever wrote that deserves a proper citation and full credit.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Dec 2008 @ 8:12 PM

  66. Reply 63. “The catalysis happens at the end of the polar night, temperature-dependent. It’s misleading to quote only “total global” measurements.” Of course, but I was referring to GLOBAL ozone depletion scenarios, not just the Antarctic polar region. What low-temperature chemistry happens in the seasonal polar vortex (the SIZE-AREA of which, of course, has nothing to do with CFCs) is irrelevant to the GLOBAL ozone picture. No evidence supports the theory that CFCs have had any lasting effect on stratospheric ozone outside of the Antarctic polar vortex. As I pointed out, the existing evidence does little or nothing to support this.
    Reply 64. Again, you are referring to the polar region, not the globe. Where are the DATA that CONFIRM the CFC chlorine GLOBAL ozone depletion theory as a “scientific fact”? Away from the Antarctic? Zip?

    Comment by Ken — 26 Dec 2008 @ 10:10 PM

  67. For that, you’d have to understand the reason for the Nobel award, Ken.

    Where are you getting the stuff you’re posting?

    Read each actual paper, or even the abstract — compare that to the misstatements made about the paper in whatever you’re quoting.
    Look at the other papers from the same authors.

    That’s the problem quoting second hand blog stuff.
    I’m guessing SEPP.

    Next talking point is: because there’s plenty of ozone at ground level, enough to be an air pollution problem, that proves there’s no deficiency of ozone on a global basis. Except use capslock more.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Dec 2008 @ 11:37 PM

  68. Or — could it be PielkeJr?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 26 Dec 2008 @ 11:40 PM

  69. One last example to emphasize the value of reading what you’re citing

    Ken writes:

    > a May 31st paper in SCIENCE by London and Kelley
    > (
    > confirming an UPWARD trend in global total atmospheric ozone
    > in the 1960s. What happened?

    Well, note the size of the variation reported — very small compared to the amount of ozone loss observed from CFCs. Look at the citing articles (bottom of page) and you’ll find the answer to your question.
    DOI: 10.1126/science.204.4399.1303
    Ozone and Temperature Trends Associated with the 11-Year Solar Cycle

    Read Crutzen’s Nobel speech?
    He thought at the time we’d acted soon enough to avoid an Arctic ozone hole. He was wrong, we have had one for a while.
    Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 5, 05128, 2003

    Governments worldwide agreed in 2007 to improve on the original Montreal Protocol, to speed up phaseout of the remaining chemicals:
    “the outrage”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Dec 2008 @ 1:25 AM

  70. See also (for anyone who wanted homework help, the Shindell article in this list is well worth reading carefully)

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Dec 2008 @ 1:30 AM

  71. Oh, but Hank, You’re taking the fun out of it for Ken. Complete citations are easier to debunk…not that this one is that tough.

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 27 Dec 2008 @ 9:22 AM

  72. Chuckle. I’m guessing Ken credit was only fooled by a well done PR site. I don’t want to assume Ken created the selective quoting; it reads so much like one of the professional PR sites’ work.

    It’s not so terrible — once — to be copypasting from some PR site without checking the original sources.

    Once can happen to anybody.

    That’s why PR people are successful — what they do fools people.
    What’s important is to recognize PR, and don’t be fooled again.

    I have faith Ken, if he wants to, will develop the habit of always looking at the original papers and assessing whether what’s said about them makes sense.

    What he is probably doing is figuring out that the concern about “the globe” was based on business as usual scenarios, and that the question he copypasted — “Where are the DATA that CONFIRM the CFC chlorine GLOBAL ozone depletion theory as a “scientific fact”?” — is from the PR world, part of the spin used to deny the usefulness of basic scientific information in creating models and developing scenarios.

    Or, perhaps, he’s channeling Tim Ball. Time will tell.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 27 Dec 2008 @ 2:22 PM

  73. Revisiting NF3…

    7 July 2008
    “CO2 is not the only greenhouse gas, and greenhouse effects are not the only CO2 problem”

    NF3 in the atmosphere has now been measured, not just estimated:

    Weiss, R. F., J. Mühle, P. K. Salameh, and C. M. Harth (2008), Nitrogen trifluoride in the global atmosphere, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L20821, doi:10.1029/2008GL035913.


    Comment by Al S. — 27 Dec 2008 @ 9:10 PM

  74. 65: “By the way, Ken, you ought to cite the text that you’ve pasted in.
    So, who are you quoting there?”

    The quote and it’s origin (Ball) is given in the article here under discussion…by gavin. See above.

    67: “Where are you getting the stuff you’re posting?”

    Fair question. Everything is from the peer-reviewed, primary scientific literature. Nothing from news media, editorials, other blogs, talk-show hosts or professional PR sites.

    72: “I have faith Ken, if he wants to, will develop the habit of always looking at the original papers and assessing whether what’s said about them makes sense.”

    Sounds fair, if you will do the same. Let’s look at some original papers that chronicle the UPWARD trend in global ozone prior to the Nimbus 7 TOMS measurements in 1978-79. Starting with London and Kelley (Science, 1974, vol. 184, p. 987-989) GLOBAL TRENDS IN TOTAL ATMOSPHERIC OZONE.

    They begin by citing other papers on the upward trend:
    Komhyr et al.(1971, Nature, vol. 232, p. 390-391) ATMOSPHERIC TOTAL OZONE INCREASE DURING THE 1960s.
    Komhyr et al. (1973, Pure and Applied Geophysics, vol. 106, p. 981-999) TOTAL OZONE INCREASE OVER NORTH AMERICA DURING THE 1960s.

    London and Kelley write (col. 3, p. 987): For “13-year period from July 1957 to July 1970″. “The average total ozone measured from the earth’s surface (that is, the total amount of ozone in a vertical column) is about 300 matm cm.”

    In 1979 London and Oltmans wrote THE GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION OF LONG-TERM TOTAL OZONE VARIATIONS DURING THE PERIOD 1957-1975. (Pure and Applied Geophysics, vol. 117, p. 345-354). In the abstract they write (in part): “It has been found that during the period 1961-70 the total ozone amount increased in the Northern Hemisphere by about 12 percent and that this increase seems significant at all latitudes.” Figures 2 and 3 in this paper illustrate the upward trend for both hemispheres at all latitudes, and for the globe.

    Then, in 1980 London wrote: THE OBSERVED DISTRIBUTION AND VARIATIONS OF TOTAL OZONE, pages 31-36 in Proceeding of the NATO Advanced Study Institute on Atmospheric Ozone: Its Variation and Human Influences, Algarve, Portugal, 1–13 Oct. 1979, Report No. FAA-EE-80-20.
    Figure 6 plots average annual variation of total ozone for the period 1958-1977 with reference lines for long term hemispheric and global averages. The line for global average crosses at 298.5 Dobson Units. Northern hemisphere: 301.8, Southern hemisphere 295.2.

    Conclusion? It is clear that an UPWARD trend in GLOBAL ozone was taking place prior to the Nimbus 7 TOMS measurements that began in 1978-79. The average global ozone was “about 300 DU” or 298.5 DU.

    Let’s compare these values with those from TOMS for the period 1979-1990. In post 62 I cited Herman et al., 1991. The complete citation is: Herman et al. Jour. Geophysical Res. vol. 96, p. 17,297-17305. GLOBAL AVERAGE OZONE CHANGE FROM NOVEMBER 1978 TO MAY 1990. Table 2 lists the global averages for each year from 1979 through 1990. The values from 79-85 are: 311.36, 309.06, 309.05, 307.28, 303.07, 303.83, 298.76. But, from 1986-1990: 300.76, 300.90, 301.19, 303.97, 298.83. All of these values can be checked and re-derived from the TOMS database put onto an EXCEL spreadsheet.

    Thus, a clear downward trend was seen from 1979 through 1985, but only to the very same point that was seen in the 58-77 atmosphere. In other words: No NET loss of global ozone from 1958 through 1985 and none at all from 1985 through 1990. (BTW, this is almost the “base period” for AGW studies).

    Where, then, is the ozone depletion that was supposedly caused by the megatons of CFCs released into the atmosphere? Suppose that the Molina-Rowland hypothesis had been published and tested beginning in 1965 when global ozone was below 295 DU instead of in 1979 when it was 311? Is this ozone depletion-CFC connection really a “scientific fact”?

    [Response: Gosh. It's been a while since we've had an honest-to-goodness ozone depletion pseudo-skeptic show up (I had the impression that they'd died out in the wild, with only a few remaining in captivity for scientific study). However, the observant among you will notice many genetic traits shared with the climate pseudo-skeptic (a not-so-distant cousin); first off, the cherry picking of dates. Looking at all the actual data (a nice selection can be found here), from pretty much anywhere shows long term declines in ozone - larger at the poles and smaller in the tropics, but declines none the less. Second, we see the conflation of short term variability (variously due to solar cycle effects, the QBO, volcanic eruptions, etc), with long term changes due to ozone-depleting substances (sound familiar?). Third, you have the citation of literature that is horribly out of date - 1991? Really. One might have expected that there might have been slightly more up-to-date assessments? Oh yes, the WMO Ozone Assessments (2002 and 2006) - Chapter 3 has the detailed updates to the global ozone trends, while Q13 in the Q&A has it neatly summarised. Quel surprise! There has been a long term decline of ozone and slight recent recovery in line with the concentrations of ozone-depleting substances in the stratosphere. - gavin]

    Comment by Ken — 28 Dec 2008 @ 1:13 PM

  75. Well, it sure didn’t take long for the ad hominem comments to appear! Not a very scientific or adult rejoinder. Usually this device is reserved for those who have trouble with the message.

    “First off, the cherry picking of dates.”

    Of course the dates were “cherry picked”. The point, which you avoided, is to show that unless 1979 is used as THE starting point (base period?), there was no evidence of any actual decline in global ozone. That seems to be a fact. The evidence reveals that the 4% decline was not a net loss for the planet. In 1985 the ozone in the atmosphere was back to where it was 25 years earlier. Studies of UVB showed no increases at ground level from 1974 to 1985 (Scotto et al., 1988, Science, v. 239, p. 762).

    “Second, we see… long term changes due to ozone-depleting substances (sound familiar?)”

    Sounds VERY familiar, but where are the DATA, not just the assertions or the “due to” correlation between ozone and CFC destruction, that proves this case? Re-read post 55. What are the data that show the cause and effect? As I stated earlier, the depletions were found to take place below 25 km, not where the bulk of the ClO resides (~40 km). The photodissociation of CFCs is negligible below about 25 km. Below 25 km most of the Clx comes from the non-CFCs. Evidence for that? The HCl/HF ratio is 4 to 8-to-one.

    “Third, you have the citation of literature that is horribly out of date – 1991? Really. One might have expected that there might have been slightly more up-to-date assessments?”

    I wasn’t aware that data and assessments published before 1991 made them less valid. Might YOU be cherry-picking, by chance? But, again, you miss the point. The CFC-ozone theory was published in 1974 and the testing of it did not commence until 1979. Unless we specifically ignore the earlier data (which seems to have been done), by 1990 the test had failed. Global ozone had not really declined, long-term, and even after the much ballyhooed depletion in the early 80s nothing happened at all for the next six years. Ozone stood at the same place it was.. near 300 DU. Look at the data!

    “There has been a long term decline of ozone and slight recent recovery in line with the concentrations of ozone-depleting substances in the stratosphere.”

    In line with? Again, this is a correlation not a demonstrated cause-and-effect. Usually, when one shows a correlation, the first criticism is that it doesn’t imply cause and effect. Read post 55: “You can correlate the importation of bananas with the divorce rate in NYC, too, but that doesn’t mean there’s a cause-effect relationship.” How about a little more examination of and discussion of the data and a little less of the pseudo-skeptic put-downs?

    [Response: Because there is absolutely no point. The evidence for global ozone decline (currently 4-6% below mid 20th century values) is overwhelming, yet you fixate on a short period comparison (dropping almost 20 years of subsequent data) where there is enough noise to allow you to cling to your pre-defined belief. This is denial 101, and frankly there is little hope for any enlightenment. Why don't you tell me why I should waste time arguing with you when you refuse to even acknowledge that data past 1990 even exist? - gavin]

    Comment by Ken — 28 Dec 2008 @ 4:15 PM

  76. Ken, Excuse me, but I fail to see the ad hominem attack. Your argument was bogus, based on outdated research and cherry-picked results. And you chose to make this argument on a site run by experts in climate and atmospheric science. Now if you are going to charge a tank with a pea shooter, don’t be too surprised if the tank driver laughs at you. There are two possible responses to this: 1)Examine your tactics and your argument and see if maybe, just maybe you might not be misunderstanding the science just a wee bit. 2)Go back to whatever anti-science site you got this pail of fetid dingo’s kidneys from with your tail between your legs and whimper about those mean climate scientists.

    If you adopt strategy 1, your learning curve may have a positive slope. If you adopt strategy 2, we can look forward to your providing more entertainment in the future. I call that a win-win!

    Comment by Ray Ladbury — 28 Dec 2008 @ 4:58 PM

  77. Ken, you seem to be thinking like those who attack Darwin nowadays, or early work in any field where they don’t like the current science. It’s pointless.

    Look for newer science about the points you raise and you’ll find it easily. Example, just one, below. You can do better.

    “Founder” science can be important — the ozone/CFC work stands out, as Crutzen says. But it’s always improved on.

    First work wasn’t perfect. Nobody cares; it was interesting and productive of later work.

    This search:

    Found this abstract:

    That page shows the paper has been “Referenced by 3 newer articles”
    including this one:

    Learning about ozone depletion
    Climatic Change
    ISSN 0165-0009 (Print) 1573-1480 (Online)
    Volume 89, Numbers 1-2 / July, 2008, DOI 10.1007/s10584-008-9400-6
    Paul J. Crutzen and Michael Oppenheimer

    —–excerpt follows——-

    … Rates of heterogeneous reactions are notoriously difficult to measure. Although their importance was discounted in assessments of the problem before the late 1980s (NAS 1984; WMO 1986), interest in their possible role persisted among some scientists (Sato and Rowland 1984), particularly in light of observations suggesting ozone loss at midlatitudes (Rowland 1989; 2006), and model simulations indicating that, with arbitrarily set rates, their effect on ozone could become quite large (Wuebbles and Connell 1984). Nevertheless, only the observation of the ozone hole forced a complete reassessment of the chemical scheme. The importance of heterogeneous chemistry was reinforced by subsequent identification of larger-than-expected depletion at midlatitutdes with an unpredicted seasonal and latitudinal pattern (WMO 1988) as well as observation of depletion in the Arctic (WMO 1991) and following volcanic eruptions (Hoffman and Solomon 1989).

    Taking this history as a whole, it is apparent that atmospheric observations and laboratory measurements led to key breakthroughs in theory and modelling. Some science historians have criticized the tendency to focus on “key” experiments or observations as the driving force behind revolutionary changes in science (Gilbert and Mulkay 1984). But in the case of ozone depletion, such a focus seems entirely justified. Furthermore, much of global change science shares the characteristics of the ozone problem that made a handful of observations critical to changes in theory: field measurements are sparse, and theory and models are often not well anchored. In analogy to the difficulty of measuring key intermediate atmospheric species in ozone chemistry (see above), key processes in other global change arenas, such as the ice sheets, cannot be determined due to a lack of detailed measurements in the right place at the right time, leaving models unconstrained.

    Furthermore, coordinated progress in measurement, observation and theory relies on bringing to bear expertise from multiple sub-specialties, a slow and difficult process (Christie 2001).
    In such situations, assessments can become inordinately dependent on projections of models that are validated across a limited range of experience. A broader set of tools, such as analysis of paleoclimate analogs, and a more comprehensive assessment of uncertainties (Moss and Schneider 2000) are required to provide policy makers with the fullest range of plausible outcomes. The fact that gradual improvement in some aspects of ozone photochemistry (Fig. 2) could cause a key outcome of modelling to diverge from the right answer demonstrates the difficulties that may arise in modelling complex problems with relatively simple representations (e.g., lacking heterogeneous chemistry) that capture only part of the physical reality. There are known uncertainties and still unknown uncertainties. The latter can be most important.

    —–end excerpt——

    See the full text, available as a PDF; link above.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Dec 2008 @ 5:09 PM

    JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 113, D12307, doi:10.1029/2007JD009057, 2008
    A study of stratospheric chlorine partitioning based on new satellite
    measurements and modeling

    —–excerpt follows——

    … investigate stratospheric chlorine partitioning. We use measurements of ClO, HCl, ClONO2 and other species from MLS and ACE-FTS to study the evolution of reactive and reservoir chlorine throughout the lower stratosphere during two Arctic and two Antarctic winters characterizing both relatively cold and relatively warm and disturbed conditions in each hemisphere. At middle latitudes, and at high latitudes at the beginning of winter, HCl greatly exceeds ClONO2, representing ~0.7–0.8 of estimated total inorganic chlorine. Nearly complete
    chlorine activation is seen inside the winter polar vortices. In the Arctic, chlorine recovery
    follows different paths in the two winters: In 2004/2005, deactivation initially takes place
    through reformation of ClONO2, then both reservoirs are produced concurrently but ClONO2 continues to significantly exceed HCl, and finally slow repartitioning between ClONO2 and HCl occurs; in 2005/2006, HCl and ClONO2 rise at comparable rates in some regions. In the Antarctic, chlorine deactivation proceeds in a similar manner in both winters, with a rapid rise in HCl accompanying the decrease in ClO…..


    Yes, there’s more to find out! We know the input (chlorofluorocarbons) and the observations (decline, on top of natural variation). The chemistry of exactly how it happens is in the details still being learned. Natural experiments like the one described above help bring out these details. That’s why new work is interesting.

    Environ Sci Pollut Res (2008) 15:448–449
    DOI 10.1007/s11356-008-0037-9
    The 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol and the unexplainable 60% of ozone loss
    Costas A. Varotsos

    “… Very recent experimental data at the Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany, provided evidence that the rate of photolysis of Cl2O2 (a key reaction in the chemical model of ozone destruction) reported by chemists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion
    Laboratory in Pasadena, California (Molina and Molina 1987) is almost an order of magnitude lower than the currently accepted rate. However, by applying the revised photolysis rate, it would not be possible to produce the adequate number of chlorine radicals so to explain the
    observed ozone losses at high latitudes, and, therefore, at least 60% of ozone destruction at the poles seems to be due to unknown mechanisms (Schiermeier 2007). In this regard, it was recently suggested that a chemical pathway involving a Cl2O2 isomer might be responsible.

    In the light of these very important conclusions, it is time that atmospheric scientists begin to think about new plausible mechanisms, which could fill the aforementioned gap between the observed and theoretical data of ozone depletion, thus, improving our understanding of how ozone
    holes are formed. We suggest that other plausible mechanisms, which are closely associated with the extent of the interaction between gaseous species and solid particles, may be candidates for the justification of the missing ozone loss — to be experimentally investigated….

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 28 Dec 2008 @ 5:44 PM

  79. Gavin, in your response to #74, none of the three links seem to work.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 29 Dec 2008 @ 4:42 AM

  80. Barton, all three work for me (now and before); retry?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 29 Dec 2008 @ 9:59 AM

  81. RESPONSE to 75: “The evidence for global ozone decline (currently 4-6% below mid 20th century values) is overwhelming, yet you fixate on a short period comparison (dropping almost 20 years of subsequent data) where there is enough noise to allow you to cling to your pre-defined belief. This is denial 101, and frankly there is little hope for any enlightenment. Why don’t you tell me why I should waste time arguing with you when you refuse to even acknowledge that data past 1990 even exist? – gavin]”

    gavin… Of course it exists! But, again, you (and the others) don’t seem to get the message. It’s the EARLIER data that were IGNORED…. data which you don’t want to acknowledge, or even discuss. The data are there; they exist. They are very relevant. Using what you now say is “short period noise” and what Post 76 now calls “outdated research” the science went from pure theory in 1974 to scientific fact in 1985 and on to legislative policy in 1992. Are you saying that this scientific fact was confirmed with selective, outdated noise? So far, you have not told us where the earlier data were wrong nor, more importantly, why they were ignored. Of course I acknowledge that more recent data exist. You haven’t shown where any of them answer the questions asked. What are “mid 20th century values”; where/how were they derived? Are they outdated? What is the evidence that they have anything to do, SPECIFICALLY, with CFCs? Cause and effect…remember? These are simple scientific questions.
    RE: The blizzard of graphs in the link that you trumpeted out support MY point. Except for Arosa (which is, of course, just one datum) all the other show trends beginning in 1978 or 1979. None of them shows the data and slopes from the earlier ozone measurements when ozone was lower. Where are those?

    Post 76: “Your argument was bogus, based on outdated research and cherry-picked results. And you chose to make this argument on a site run by experts in climate and atmospheric science.”

    Yes, I chose to present these arguments on a site run by experts because you ARE the experts. Posts elsewhere would certainly have received what I didn’t expect here from scientists…ad hominem, off-the-cuff, ignore-the-data, responses. I have presented you experts with what you initially asked for: real citations; real data, peer-reviewed papers, not some off-the-wall junk, of which I agree there is plenty. So far, it has been really disappointing. If you are experts, why not act like experts?

    As experts, here is some more “outdated” material…
    Rood, R.B. (1986) Geophys. Res. Letters, v. 13, p. 1244, GLOBAL OZONE MINIMA IN THE HISTORICAL RECORD:
    “The magnitude and structure of the global total ozone minimum between 1958 and 1962 is similar to that observed between 1979 and 1983.” “…when the TOMS and SBUV instruments were put into operation in 1978 the global total ozone was near a historical maximum.”
    In 1978 total ozone near a HISTORICAL MAXIMUM! So, if one begins a CFC-ozone depletion theory test in 1979 (which we did; see gavin’s charts) should it have been a surprise that ozone was “depleted” for a few years? 1979 was a very bad choice. That’s like using some Little-Ice-Age year as a base period for global warming studies; Can’t lose!

    Want to see some REAL cherry-picked results? Look at Bojkov et. al. (1995) Jour. Geophys. Res. vol. 100, p. 25,867-25,876. TOTAL OZONE TRENDS FROM QUALITY CONTROLLED GROUND-BASED DATA (1964-1994).
    Trends were calculated for two periods: Jan 1964 – Mar. 1994 and Jan 1979 – Mar. 1994. But, the SLOPE was calculated from 1970! They write: “The trend fitted for each month was a ‘hockey stick’, with a level baseline prior to December 1969 and linear trend after 1970.” Why use 1970? “Use of this trend function is intended to be sensitive to a possible effect of chlorofluorcarbons on total ozone, which photochemical models predict to be minimal before 1970.”
    So, we select (cherry-pick?) the data that are more likely to prove what we set out to prove? Surprise…level baseline followed by a negative slope. Prediction confirmed! BUT, if one uses the 1964-1992 data (which they had) the slope is LEVEL, and if one uses the 1957-1992 data the slope is positive. Now, that’s world-class cherry-picking!

    Post 77: “Ken, you seem to be thinking like those who attack Darwin nowadays, or early work in any field where they don’t like the current science. It’s pointless. Look for newer science about the points you raise and you’ll find it easily. Example, just one, below. You can do better. “Founder” science can be important — the ozone/CFC work stands out, as Crutzen says. But it’s always improved on. First work wasn’t perfect. Nobody cares; it was interesting and productive of later work.”

    “Look for newer science”? “Nobody cares”? Hey, it’s data.. yes it’s “old” but valid unless shown clearly to be faulty. Have you done that? No…it has simply been ignored and called “founder science”! You haven’t told us where the “founder” data that “can be important” (and which I specifically referenced) was wrong. “Attack early work in any field where they don’t like the current science?” But isn’t it you who is attacking the early work, not me? You don’t seem to want to deal with the data…because it seems to show where the case for any CFC caused GLOBAL ozone depletion is a house of cards? As an expert, if I’m wrong, get SPECIFIC. After all, you claim to be the expert scientist.

    And, here’s another example…Nobody cares? Reinsel et al. (1988) TREND ANALYSIS OF SBUV TOTAL OZONE DATA, Jour. Geophys. Res., vol. 93, p. 1702…
    “A question then is how to interpret the trend over 1979-1985 relative to the longer-term behavior of the ozone time series, and how much credence should be assigned to the possible continuation of the decrease. Such a prediction is, of course, beyond our means, but we emphasize that the negative trend finding over the relatively short time period of 1979–1985 may be highly influenced by the unusual ozone changes during 1983-1985, that may be of natural origin, and that the limited time period when F(sub10.7) solar flux is also decreasing.”… “Hence, in our view, great care must be taken in interpreting the trend results of the recent 7-year SBUV data record…”
    Is this what gavin (post 75) calls short period noise? If so, it was ignored and the noise was used to help promote a theory to an established fact? Who is in denial?

    Or, how about this one? Mani, 1993, Current Science, v. 64, p. 335 OZONE IN THE TROPICS. “An analysis of the available data has shown no significant trend of ozone depletion in the tropics in the last three decades.” “The only conclusion, which can be made about long-term trends in averaged column ozone in the tropics, is that there is no identifiable systematic decrease that can be ascribed to anthropogenic causes.”
    More noise. Nobody cared? Seems like it.

    Another “nobody cares”?
    Miller et al. 1980, Nature, v. 288, pp. 461-464. TWO-DIMENSIONAL MODEL CALCULATIONS OF STRATOSPHERIC HCL AND CLO.
    “Estimates of the distribution of HCl and ClO with height have failed to match measured concentration profiles.”
    “…contrary to expectation, the calculated [2-D] profiles of HCl and ClO are insignificantly different from those of comparable one-dimensional models.”
    “…the model significantly overestimates the abundance of ClO between 25 and 30 km. This overestimation of lower stratospheric ClO is an important problem, because a major part of the calculated ozone depletion by chlorofluorocarbons occurs below ~30 km in the current chemical scheme.”

    Post 78: “Yes, there’s more to find out! We know the input (chlorofluorocarbons) and the observations (decline, on top of natural variation). The chemistry of exactly how it happens is in the details still being learned.”

    The chemistry is indeed in the details! It simply doesn’t fit the global DATA. As I mentioned earlier, the Molina/Rowland hypothesis (Nature, 1974, v. 249, p. 811) told us that the maximum depletion would take place in the middle stratosphere “between 25 and 35 km” but, as I referenced, twice, ozone depletion was shown to be taking place BELOW 25 km. More to find out? Well, yes, the “standard” gas-phase theory could not, and does not, even explain the seasonal Antarctic ozone hole. Lots to find out.

    Susan Solomon (1990, Nature, vol. 347, p. 350) wrote this (although it was pre-1991…sorry gavin): “The model simulation neglecting heterogeneous chemistry is unable to reproduce the observed ClO profile…” In other words, the “standard chemistry” doesn’t work! Obviously,at 30° N latitude there are no PSCs nor –78 °C temperatures. Except for volcanic aerosols (El Chichon? Pinatubo?), heterogeneous chemistry cannot explain ozone outside the ultracold polar vortex.

    Some more? Heath, D.F. (1988) Nature, v. 332, p. 219-227. NON-SEASONAL CHANGES IN TOTAL COLUMN OZONE FROM SATELLITE OBSERVATION, 1970-86.
    “None of the current theories or model predictions for either natural or anthropogenic sources of stratospheric ozone depletion appear capable of explaining the large decreases observed in total column ozone by both satellite SBUV and Dobson network instruments.”

    Or, how about this conclusion?
    Hill et al. 1977 Geophys. Res. Letters, v. 4, p. 21-24. ANALYZING WORLDWIDE TOTAL OZONE FOR TRENDS.
    ” The period between 1970 and 1975 is tested for a possible intervention since it is a period closely identified with the predicted onset of man-made ozone depletion. We find no evidence of a statistically significant persisting abnormal trend occurring at any one station or globally.”

    So…please, provide the confirming data that show that the Cl, specifically from CFCs, has resulted in a NET long-term depletion of GLOBAL ozone. I have presented data from peer-reviewed publications that cast doubt on the GLOBAL CFC-ozone depletion scenario (and there is lots more). The polar situation is very localized, seasonal, and clearly different. Using the polar data as “proof” for the global condition is a bait-and-switch sales technique.
    This does not seem to be too much to ask of experts. If anthropogenic global ozone depletion is a scientific fact it should be a piece of cake to show where and why.

    Happy New Year!

    Comment by Ken — 30 Dec 2008 @ 1:16 PM

  82. Ken, of course nobody wanted to wait. Nobody considered it necessary to let the problem became global and year-round before taking action to prevent that from happening.

    No one has ever argued for increasing production of a highly stable long-lived chemical once it’s identified as biologically active or a chemical catalyst. Those are red flags. Nobody wants to accumulate damage before dealing with the obvious problem identified for anything of that sort.

    It would have been too late if people had waited.

    For that matter, it would have been too late even when the discovery was made and action taken, if the industry had used primarily bromine, rather than chlorine, to halogenate fluorocarbon compounds for market purposes.

    Close call, understand? Cautionary experience.

    You’re quoting from the people who did studies, but you’re spinning them like the PR people did for the industries that were badly wrong about what the studies meant.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Dec 2008 @ 3:10 PM

  83. And, Ken, seriously — unless this is a “Darwin was wrong so evolution has no foundation” kind of approach you’re taking, go back and read the Crutzen speech I linked to and briefly excerpted above.

    You’re setting out the early work that was improved on and seem to be declaiming (or pasting from someone who did) that somehow because better research was possible meant there was no need to worry at the time. Is that your idea?

    Look again. See the words around this bit?

    “… only the observation of the ozone hole forced a complete reassessment of the chemical scheme. The importance of heterogeneous chemistry was reinforced by subsequent identification of larger-than-expected depletion at midlatitutdes with an unpredicted seasonal and latitudinal pattern …”

    Duh. Science works. That’s how.

    Go read some of Robert Grumbine’s blog, for example

    ————excerpt follows——-
    … By the time you’ve progressed to the point of general agreement — and all a consensus is is general agreement, not universal agreement — the point has dropped out of being live science.

    The science is in the parts we don’t understand well. That’s effectively part of the definition for doing science. ….

    I didn’t appreciate it properly at the time, but a sign on the chemistry department door in my college put it best: “If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be science.” The live part of science involves learning new things.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Dec 2008 @ 4:09 PM

  84. Related:

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Dec 2008 @ 4:25 PM

  85. Still an issue.
    —-excerpt follows—–see link for entire story—–
    Tuesday, 16 December 2008

    Last year’s 20th anniversary meeting of the global framework to protect the ozone layer agreed to significantly accelerate the phasing-out of ozone-depleting hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). …
    replacement hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), are also potent global warming gases, often more destructive than the HCFCs they are replacing.

    Despite this, HFCs are widely marketed by the refrigeration industry as environmentally friendly.

    They have also been readily accepted as replacements to ozone depleting gases in many industrialised countries.

    As a result, scientists have found atmospheric concentrations of HFCs are increasing at such a rate that by 2015 their emissions will be over 1.2 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalence (CO2-eq).

    This appears to place the Montreal Protocol directly at odds with the goals of the Kyoto Protocol, which controls emissions of global warming gases including HFCs.

    To the bystander, these treaties are heading ominously down very different roads.

    … last year’s milestone agreement could actually result in increased global green house gas emissions – and certainly we will not see anything like the 12-15 billion tonnes of CO2-eq savings being widely quoted by the United Nations.

    So far, the Kyoto Protocol has yet to wake up to the fact that HFC emissions are likely to continue rising considerably in the foreseeable future. ….

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Dec 2008 @ 6:43 PM

  86. Hank… First off, I said in my first post (62) that the greenhouse significance of CFCs IS important. The CFC phase-out was the right thing to do but it is the ozone depletion part of it that was the wrong reason. Again, the dreaded CFC-ozone depletion scenario was considered proven only because it was based on a very short period depletion beginning in 1979 instead of the more reasonable longer-term base from 1957 to the 1985. Let’s face it… the Nimbus 7 TOMS equipment was placed in service, by coincidence, at an historic high for stratospheric ozone. This is a fact. Had TOMS been put in service in e.g. 1965 the “scary” correlation between CFCs and ozone would not have been seen, much less considered proven. But, this doesn’t relieve scientists from ignoring the earlier data, which they very clearly did. In 1975, four years before Nimbus 7-TOMS, Rowland and Molina, themselves, wrote this:

    “There appears to be general agreement now that the average ozone content of the northern hemisphere rose by 5–7% during the period from 1961 to 1970…”

    And we know that ozone continued to rise from 1970 to 1979. So why did we pick 1979 to “test” this theory? Can you answer that, please? Would you accept that sort of thing for AGW studies? I don’t think so.

    [Response: This is increasingly tedious. Where in the 2006 Ozone Assessment is 1979 picked as the 'year' to test the theory? Nowhere is where. Changes subsequent to 1979 have more than vindicated the initial assessments despite there being initially lots of confusing noise. Some of this could be solar related - possibly including any rise from 1961 to 1970 - but the residual trends once that is accounted for are very obvious. It would be great if we had satellites going back to the 1950's but to imagine that they started in 1979 as part of some conspiracy to hide earlier variations in ozone is just lunatic. - gavin]

    Comment by Ken — 2 Jan 2009 @ 12:22 PM

  87. POST 83: “… only the observation of the ozone hole forced a complete reassessment of the chemical scheme. The importance of heterogeneous chemistry was reinforced by subsequent identification of larger-than-expected depletion at midlatitutdes with an unpredicted seasonal and latitudinal pattern …”
    This is absolutely true, but the polar results are, as I said, not applicable to the global condition because the heterogeneous chemistry they require simply doesn’t work in the midlatitudes outside of the polar region (except maybe during volcanic eruptions). Neither does the “standard” gas-phase chemistry work where the non-polar losses are seen. And, even the polar results do not explain why it is the halogens from CFCs (as opposed to those lacking fluorine) that are THE ones causing the seasonal losses. There were no CFCs in 1957-58 when the IGY people measured the temperatures in the Antarctic vortex at minus 80 degrees at 50 mb and ozone loss was seen.

    [Response: For other readers, note the deliberate implicit confusion of 'ozone loss' (a normal seasonal occurrence) with the ozone hole (the anomalous depletion of ozone beyond that of the normal seasonal cycle). That's enough disinformation - please take it somewhere else. - gavin]

    Comment by Ken — 2 Jan 2009 @ 12:26 PM

  88. Post 86 response: Where in the 2006 Ozone Assessment is 1979 picked as the ‘year’ to test the theory? Nowhere is where. Changes subsequent to 1979 have more than vindicated the initial assessments despite there being initially lots of confusing noise. Some of this could be solar related – possibly including any rise from 1961 to 1970 – but the residual trends once that is accounted for are very obvious. It would be great if we had satellites going back to the 1950’s but to imagine that they started in 1979 as part of some conspiracy to hide earlier variations in ozone is just lunatic. – gavin]

    Please, gavin. I have never said there was any conspiracy. That would, indeed, be lunatic! But, look back. Your own “nice selection” of charts and graphs for global ozone (your response to my Post 74) ALL begin with 1979. NONE of them shows any of the data prior to that. It was the short-term 1979-1985 depletion that WAS part of the initial assessment. This also applies to the charts you linked above at “obvious”. They, too, start in 1979 and at ZERO DU. Zero in 1979 was not 300 DU.

    [Response: I was assuming that you were capable of interpreting an anomaly graph - but obviously not. - gavin]

    If you will look again at the data, global ozone was measured at about 300 DU in the mid-60s and it was about 300 DU in 1985. And, it stayed about 300 DU from 1985 to 1990. It’s all there in Table 2 of Herman et al. published in 1991 using the full TOMS database. I gave the complete reference and listed all the DU values in post 74. Everything that I have presented is in the peer-reviewed primary literature. You seem to be denying that these data exist and that they show little or no global depletion through 1990.

    [Response: Showing satellite data from 1979, when the satellite started in 1979 is not really a surprise. But if you want longer time series, go to figure 3.1 in Chapter 3 of the 2006 Ozone Assessment. The last panel shows the ozone changes from 1964 to 2006 after corrections for solar, volcanic, annual cycles and the QBO. There is an obvious decline in global ozone starting from the late seventies and bottoming out around 1995. Your claim of no change before 1990 just isn't credible. - gavin]

    Comment by Ken — 2 Jan 2009 @ 4:15 PM

  89. 2007 assessment just came out:
    (for 2007 see the last panel of fig. 3.2)

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Jan 2009 @ 7:13 PM

  90. > explain why it is the halogens from CFCs (as opposed to those
    > lacking fluorine) that are THE ones …

    The word you’re looking for is “stability” — given that you can find the answer for yourself. You could have found that word easily.

    Seriously, you appear to need so much help with simple questions, your school librarian is the person you should be talking to. She’ll recognize your real need; online we can’t tell you from a troll trying to waste our time retyping material just to waste our time.

    But as it’s a holiday weekend, it’s worth knowing, so here:

    Picking one from the first page of hits, just as an example of how to look such things up (read it, read others, read “cited by” links):

    … In contrast, the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are fully … In fact, it is their chemical stability that creates a … they can reach the stratosphere, where they …

    So that looks likely, so you click the link and read it:
    Role of chlorine in stratospheric chemistry

    “… These compounds are practically insoluble in water, and thus are not removed by rainfall. Furthermore, they are inert towards the hydroxyl radical (OH); reaction with this radical to form water is the process that initiates the oxidation of hydrocarbons in the lower atmosphere. That is the CFCs are not removed by the common atmospheric cleansing mechanisms that operate in the lower atmosphere; instead, they rise into the stratosphere, where they are eventually destroyed by the shortwave-length solar ultraviolet radiation (of wavelengths around 200 nm) which is shielded by the ozone layer and by molecular oxygen. Because transport into the stratosphere is very slow, the residence time for the CFCs in the environment is of the order of a century.

    The destruction of CFCs by solar radiation leads to the release of chlorine atoms, which participate in ozone destruction cycles: these atoms attack ozone within a few seconds (as in reaction 8 ) and are regenerated on a time scale of minutes …
    ___________________end excerpt__________________
    Remember to cite your sources when you turn in your homework.*
    You can cite this posting as:
    “Guy on blog:
    * Internet Research: Not necessarily an oxymoron

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 2 Jan 2009 @ 8:03 PM

  91. Post 90: “explain why it is the halogens from CFCs (as opposed to those lacking fluorine) that are THE ones … The word you’re looking for is “stability”

    Hank… I will refrain from responding to your childish ad hominems (trolls etc.) but prefer to point out that you overlooked the critical part of my question: “as opposed to those lacking fluorine”. No question that the data clearly show that CFCs are broken down in the stratosphere. To be sure about that my librarian pointed me to Zander et al. 1992. I cited this source to you at post 62 but you didn’t read your assignment? Their data (30°N, 1985) reveal that below 25 km (where Stolarski et al. 1992 said large ozone decreases had occurred) only 30% of the INORGANIC chlorine came from CFCs while the remaining 70% came from methyl chloride, methyl chloroform and carbon tetrachloride. These three are those lacking fluorine. You’ll have to actually read their paper and do a little work using Table !!,!!! and Fig. 1 to see this but I’m sure you can handle it. In addition, their data show that ClO represents less than 1% of the total chlorine and you’ll also see that of this 0.6% the amount below 25 km is negligible. So, read the paper and report back telling us how, where and why CFCs have anything to do with stratospheric ozone outside of the polar vortex. Where’s your non-polar “smoking gun”?

    Comment by Ken — 3 Jan 2009 @ 12:47 PM

  92. Ken, Hank’s explaining to you why you may look to some like a troll is not an ad hom, because he did not imply that your argument was therefore invalid.

    I’m agnostic on that question, myself, but I’m going to say that IMO your argument is basically of the “straw man” type–that is, you are persistently critiquing the original version of the CFC hypothesis, when pretty much everyone has moved on from this concept. (Note, for instance, that post heading this thread is entirely concerned with ozone destruction within the polar vortex.)

    You’re bashing away at a dead horse, and seem to be generalizing (invalidly) from the specifics of that argument to the wider ozone question. Most folks are just not going to be all that interested, I’m afraid.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 3 Jan 2009 @ 1:20 PM

  93. I can’t tell if you’re brand new to the subject and really need this much help, or not.

    I’m an amateur reader here; I can’t retype this field into the thread. Study the current science; understand that science develops over time. Read the basis for the 2007 amendment to the Montreal Protocol, speeding up the removal of ozone-depleting chemicals from commerce. Understand the precautionary principle — it worked here.

    Or we think so far that it’s working. Close call, story not finished.

    Assuming you are seriously interested, starting from scratch, and need to learn this — ask your librarian for help. It’s the best way.

    I’m done; you need more help than I can offer to learn. Best of luck.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jan 2009 @ 1:43 PM

  94. Ken may be trying to say as though it were new what’s long been obvious, without realizing it is obvious: we rarely know enough, and we do make make policy decisions without full information. Life’s like that. I posted this link earlier re chemistry.

    Learning about ozone depletion
    Paul J. Crutzen and Michael Oppenheimer
    Climatic Change
    ISSN 0165-0009 (Print) 1573-1480 (Online)
    Issue Volume 89, Numbers 1-2 / July, 2008
    DOI 10.1007/s10584-008-9400-6

    Crutzen and Oppenheimer’s abstract says:

    “… here we review the photochemistry of ozone in order to illustrate how scientific learning has the potential to mislead policy makers. The latter may occur particularly in circumstances where limited observations are combined with simplified models of a complex system, such as may generally occur in the global change arena. Even for the well-studied case of ozone depletion, further research is needed on the dynamics of scientific learning, particularly the scientific assessment process, and how assessments influence the development of public policy.”

    That was found via this paper, which has a great list of references:

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jan 2009 @ 2:37 PM

  95. One more useful search, to tie up a loose end by searching on the three other chemicals Ken asked about above:“ozone+depletion”+potential+persistence+lifetime++”methyl+chloride”+”methyl+chloroform”+”carbon+tetrachloride”

    From those results, I’d recommend this (some pages available at Google, enough to get an idea of both the atmospheric lifetime and the total ozone depletion potential and global warming potential of a long list of gases studied). Point is that policymakers need to understand what persistence, transport, and total potential activity mean, to weigh the risk involved in chemistry.

    IPCC/TEAP Special Report on Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and the Global Climate System: Issues Related to Hydrofluorocarbons and Perfluorocarbons
    By Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Bert Metz, United Nations Environment Programme Technology and Economics Assessment Panel
    Published by Cambridge University Press, 2005
    ISBN 0521863368, 9780521863360
    478 pages

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 3 Jan 2009 @ 3:01 PM

  96. POST 87 [Response: For other readers, note the deliberate implicit confusion of ‘ozone loss’ (a normal seasonal occurrence) with the ozone hole (the anomalous depletion of ozone beyond that of the normal seasonal cycle). That’s enough disinformation - please take it somewhere else. - gavin]

    Deliberate implicit confusion? Disinformation? For other readers, please recall that it was the anti-correlation of chlorine (ClO) with ozone at the inner edge of the Antarctic polar vortex that was used as the “smoking gun” to support the “standard” theory outside of the ozone hole. As I asked Hank, where’s the “smoking gun” for ozone loss by CFC-chlorine at 30° N?

    Re. “enough disinformation”. Others please note that none of the references that I have presented in the earlier posts has been shown to be “disinformation”. None of their conclusions has been denied. None of the data have been challenged specifically. Where’s the disinformation, the false or inaccurate information?

    POST 88 [Response: I was assuming that you were capable of interpreting an anomaly graph - but obviously not. - gavin]

    Please note that charts showing the POLAR data go back to the IGY in 1957 ( See also Solomon, 1990, Nature, vol. 347, Fig. 1). The ozone hole charts use the actual, measured ozone values in Dobson units. The global ozone graphs seldom use the actual measured values but rely on percentage deviation anomalies to an unreferenced Dobson base, and they have been adjusted for seasonal, solar, QBO etc. The earlier papers reported the measured values. UV radiation is absorbed by actual ozone as measured, not by adjusted values.

    Response: Showing satellite data from 1979, when the satellite started in 1979 is not really a surprise. But if you want longer time series, go to figure 3.1 in Chapter 3 of the 2006 Ozone Assessment. The last panel shows the ozone changes from 1964 to 2006 after corrections for solar, volcanic, annual cycles and the QBO. There is an obvious decline in global ozone starting from the late seventies and bottoming out around 1995. Your claim of no change before 1990 just isn’t credible. – gavin]

    Went to that figure. Please look at the TOP panel of Ch. 3, Figure 3.1. There is not a single value that is at or above 300 DU. That is difficult to understand since both Newman and Stolarski authored Ch. 3 and both were authors of the 1991 JGR paper where all but one value in their Table 2 from 1979 to 1990 was at or above 300 DU. Looking back at the TOMS database you’ll see that this TOP figure cannot possibly be correct for the latitudes given. Maybe 50N-50S? It is not my claim, gavin, it is the published data from TOMS combined with the data prior to 1979. Global ozone 300 DU in the mid-60s; 300 DU in the mid 80s. No change.

    PS. I got my copy of the complete TOMS database from Rich Stolarski as a printout before any of this downloadable.

    Comment by Ken — 5 Jan 2009 @ 4:39 PM

  97. Current science is here:

    “… 3.2.1 Total Ozone Observations Global ozone (excluding polar
    After nearly two decades of decrease, the column amount of ozone at midlatitudes of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres has been relatively stable over the last decade. Polar ozone is considered in more detail in Section below. We can integrate over the globe to get a simple measure of the recent changes in the ozone layer (Figure 3.2). The global mean total column ozone values for 2002-2005 were approximately 3% (about 10 Dobson Units or DU) below 1964-1980 average values. The 2002-2005 values are similar to the 1998-2001 values and this indicates that, overall, ozone is no longer decreasing. Several global datasets confirm this conclusion, although differences of up to 1% between annual averages exist between some individual sets (WMO, 2007).

    Total column ozone over the tropics (25°S to 25°N) remains essentially unchanged. Total ozone trends in this region for the period 1980-2004 are not statistically significant, consistent with earlier assessments (Figure 3.4, WMO, 2007).

    The behavior of ozone at midlatitudes in the Northern Hemisphere during the 1990s was different from that in the Southern Hemisphere during the same period. The Northern Hemisphere shows a minimum around 1993 resulting from forcings from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption and the solar cycle minimum, followed by an increase. The Southern Hemisphere shows an ongoing decrease through the late 1990s, followed by relatively constant levels (Figure 3.3). The average for the period 2002-2005 of total ozone at midlatitudes in each hemisphere is similar to the average for the previous four years, 1998-2001. Ozone in the southern midlatitudes remains about 5.5% below its 1964-1980 average, while ozone in the northern midlatitudes remains about 3% below (Figure 3.3).”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Jan 2009 @ 7:41 PM

  98. Ken, you’re just restating the history as though you were the first to discover it and you’re shocked, shocked. Why don’t you read more of the history? Science doesn’t grow from some perfect original founder; it grows like kudzu, and you can’t cut it off by attacking the first place it began. Science is interesting to the extent it leads to interesting work, even if the original paper is wrong! This one wasn’t, although it wasn’t completely right. No original paper ever has been that I can think of.

    Try searching on your own questions — here, I’ll paste one of them into Google for you:’s+the+“smoking+gun”+for+ozone+loss+by+CFC-chlorine+at+30°+N%3F

    Let’s look:,2001)(ISBN%200521650720)(223s)_PGp_.pdf

    Looks worth reading:

    The Ozone Layer:
    A Philosophy of Science Perspective
    Cambridge University Press

    —brief excerpt from a long book worth reading—–

    “… The prophecy aspect of their work turns out to have been enormously important and influential, though to some extent this was serendipitous.

    The damage to the ozone layer that they had foreseen did not eventuate to nearly the extent that they had expected. A different type of ozone depletion, also chlorine mediated, did!

    A coupling of the rapid increase in input of CFCs into the lower atmosphere, their virtual indestructibility, and the long lag times before their build-up in the stratosphere, means an inevitable continuing significant increase in stratospheric hydrogen chloride. If chlorine is significantly involved in ozone chemistry, it is very likely that something will change at some stage during this long and inexorable build-up, even if it is not the exact process that was predicted. In practical terms, the fact that Molina and Rowland made this prophecy had two major practical outcomes.

    Firstly, the work caught the public imagination, and increased public awareness of both the importance and the delicate nature of the earth’s ozone shield. Before long there were significant public and political movements in several countries seeking to limit the use of CFCs. These filtered through to a very high level, so that the negotiations that led to the international agreements to restrict CFC usage were already well under way before the Antarctic ozone hole discovery had been announced. Clearly this meant that the international community was much better placed to take realistic action ….

    …. when the Antarctic ozone hole announcement was made, a very thorough scientific investigation was immediately triggered. Although the announcement was completely unexpected, and the phenomenon was a complete surprise, the problem of its mechanism was effectively solved within three years, and worked out in fine detail within five years. The overall outcome was that action, both political and scientific, was taken immediately, which actually led to a turn around in chlorine trends within a decade of the ozone hole announcement, and is projected to lead to recovery of a situation where the hole will no longer appear within fifty years.

    Flawed as the Molina–Rowland prophecy may have been, it was the primary factor in a fortuitous state of affairs. In one sense the Antarctic ozone hole was a phenomenon that came as a complete surprise. But in another sense its discovery actually came in circumstances where we were very well prepared to deal with its implications! For this, we have Molina and Rowland to thank – both for their scientific investigations, and for the fact that they saw the need and were willing to publicise their findings in the broader community and the political domain.

    The analysis of this episode in recent science highlights some surprising aspects of the value that is placed on prediction in science. In terms of evidential value, the failure of a correctly evinced prediction should normally constitute a Popperian falsification of a theory. But the important question is whether it does so in a way that calls for ‘fine tuning’ of the theory by minor modification and extension, or in a way that calls for its radical overthrow. This is the sort of question addressed by Kuhn and Lakatos in their respective critiques of Popper’s approach. There do not seem to be any practical or realistic suggestions from philosophers of science for its resolution.

    Often in science, a seemingly clear prediction can be exceedingly difficult to check in practice. In this case, the atmosphere is a very complex system…..

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Jan 2009 @ 8:20 PM

  99. I don’t fully understand the relationship between ozone holes and the solar minimum. Now that we appear to be in a Grand Minimum, how hopelessly messed up is the ozone layer going to be?

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 5 Jan 2009 @ 8:41 PM

  100. > Grand Minimum
    solarcycle24 tuff, eh? but from the same site you can find sunspot counts:

    May 08 5.0
    Jun 08 3.7
    Jul 08 2.0
    Aug 08 1.1
    Sep 08 2.5
    Oct 08 4.5
    Nov 08 4.4

    Perhaps the bottom was last August — so it appears right now. Wait a few months before proclaiming something utterly new. Same advice as with any time series where you need enough data to know it’s real. This is a cycle not a trend line, but same issues apply.

    You’ll probably see claims that cosmic rays should have jumped way up in the past few months — but they didn’t. Lu’s prediction of an ozone layer minimum failed to happen.

    In the low part of the solar cycle, with less UV, expect less ozone loss; as the solar cycle rampus up there’s more UV and more ozone loss. That was written up for the past cycle; look it up.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Jan 2009 @ 9:22 PM


    21st Conference on Climate Variability and Change

    Additive effect of two solar forcing mechanisms and influences on tropical Pacific climate

    Gerald A. Meehl, NCAR, Boulder, CO; and J. M. Arblaster, F. Sassi, and K. Matthes

    Three climate model experiments are analyzed to study the relative contributions of two solar forcing mechanisms. One involves ozone in the stratosphere absorbing more UV radiation in peak solar years, ultimately resulting in enhanced vertical motion and greater precipitation in the tropical Pacific. A second mechanism involves coupled air-sea interaction at the surface in the tropical Pacific where greater solar forcing during peaks of the 11 year solar cycle produces increased evaporation in the relatively cloud-free Pacific subtropics, and additional moisture that is carried by the trade winds to strengthen precipitation in the ITCZ and SPCZ. Stronger trades in the intensified Hadley and Walker Cells produce greater upwelling, and a La Nina-like SST response in the eastern equatorial Pacific. A version of CCSM3 (coupled to a dynamical ocean but with no resolved stratosphere or ozone chemistry) captures the coupled air-sea mechanism and produces a weak La Nina-like response during peaks in solar forcing as seen in the observations. A version of WACCM (including a resolved stratosphere and ozone chemistry) run with climatological SSTs reproduces the stratospheric ozone mechanism with stronger precipitation in the western Pacific, ITCZ and SPCZ. Another version of WACCM coupled to the dynamical ocean of CCSM3 simulates both the stratospheric ozone and coupled air-sea mechanisms and shows a stronger response by about a factor of two compared to the CCSM3 with just the coupled air-sea mechanism. These results indicate that the two solar mechanisms act in the same sense and are additive to first order to produce a La Nina-like SST response in the tropical Pacific during peaks in solar forcing.

    Poster Session 3, Global dynamics and prediction – posters Tuesday, 13 January 2009, 9:45 AM-11:00 AM

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Jan 2009 @ 9:38 PM

  102. PS, the links I posted above in this posting:
    5 January 2009 at 8:20 PM

    are broken (the color doesn’t extend the whole way through to the end of what’s obviously part of the link — so it’s not being recognized).

    If you copy the whole thing, and paste it into your browser, it will work correctly.

    I do highly recommend that book I quoted a bit from. It’s a very readable perspective on the story, at least reading as an amateur. I’d be most curious to know what the real scientists think of that if you have time to look at the book — does it get the story right?

    (Any time you see someone try to post link here that shows up in two colors and is “not found” — just copy the whole thing and paste it into your browser. The software interprets some characters as the end of a link when they belong in the middle of it. Maybe there’s a way to edit that in Preview, but I haven’t figured it out yet. I post the whole thing instead of hiding it behind a “click here” because I want people to know for sure what they’re going to get.)

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 5 Jan 2009 @ 11:59 PM

  103. Interesting stuff, Hank; thanks for sharing your searches.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 6 Jan 2009 @ 12:22 AM

  104. In re Hank @100:

    The SSN for December ’08 was 0.8, which is lower than August ’08 and the number of spotless days since SC23 exceeds any transition since you and I were born.

    So … yeah, this has all the makings of a grand minimum. Care to name the last solar cycle that had this many spotless days during the transition?

    Comment by FurryCatHerder — 6 Jan 2009 @ 12:48 AM

  105. And now for Something Completely …… Real
    A bit of more interesting news than the same old from journalists not so well versed.
    For the hard core RC Stratosphere fans:

    ever heard of 9% RH way up in the stratosphere?

    Care to look near the center of the vortex?

    Comment by wayne davidson — 6 Jan 2009 @ 1:25 AM

  106. Wayne, would you care to add a few words of interpretation on the image from the second link for those of us who are not so hard-core? (I at least struggle a bit to infer units from values.)

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 6 Jan 2009 @ 8:08 AM

  107. POST 92: I’m agnostic on that question, myself, but I’m going to say that IMO your argument is basically of the “straw man” type–that is, you are persistently critiquing the original version of the CFC hypothesis, when pretty much everyone has moved on from this concept. (Note, for instance, that post heading this thread is entirely concerned with ozone destruction within the polar vortex.) You’re bashing away at a dead horse, and seem to be generalizing (invalidly) from the specifics of that argument to the wider ozone question. Most folks are just not going to be all that interested, I’m afraid.

    Yes, Kevin, most folks have moved on. It is a “scientific fact” now. But this is not a “straw man” argument. I am not misrepresenting the current dogma. It is a simple reevaluation of the evidence used to make the dogma a scientific fact…the original version. Everything I have presented was current research at the time that policy was being formulated. None of it has been shown to be “disinformation”. Yet, even today, outside of the Antarctic polar vortex (and some computer models) there is no evidence – data – that can put CFCs and long-term ozone depletion together in a coherent fashion. [edit]

    [Response: Enough. You keep repeating things that have been demonstrated clearly to not be true. I pointed you to the data numerous times. Hank pointed you to the CCSP report. You have the 2006 WMO Ozone assessment in front of you. This is just classic troll behaviour. Take it somewhere else. - gavin]

    Comment by Ken — 6 Jan 2009 @ 1:23 PM

  108. #106 Kevin, Its the vortex with a rather large center where the winds are not so strong. Ya, the numbers are not so good, green dashed lines are temperatures at 10 mb , note -80 C off Banks Island, and the height lines at 10 mb, in blue, at 40 meter intervals, 29320 meters around the center
    shades of blue is maximum wind speeds, not as strong as last year yet. 150 knots was the fastest I read. Last year it was Tornado speeds. In the center of the archipelago, there is hardly a tropopause
    with extraordinary high levels of RH. Stratospheric scientists are interested in this phenomena….

    Comment by Wayne Davidson — 6 Jan 2009 @ 2:45 PM

  109. Thanks, Wayne, that is helpful.

    Comment by Kevin McKinney — 6 Jan 2009 @ 3:37 PM

  110. Hank (POST 98) delights in telling us that one needs simply to go onto Google to find out what the “smoking gun” was at 30°N. This is what returns from his search:

    “The ‘smoking gun’refers not to the shape of the curves as plotted,nor to a quirk
    of the experimental apparatus or the aircraft! It is a reference to the mythology
    of the American West,where the sheriffcomes upon a recently dead body in the
    street. He looks up to see in the porch of a nearby building a man holding a
    handgun, with smoke still rising from the muzzle. In the present case the
    imprint of the same detailed pattern on the ClO curve as is seen in the ozone
    depletion, points clearly to ClO as the culprit.”

    Hank…the “porch” in question here is the Antarctic polar vortex, NOT the stratosphere at 30°N. There is no ‘smoking gun’ for the stratosphere outside of the polar vortex. You keep coming up with a blizzard of stuff from the polar ozone studies but nothing from outside this geographically limited area.

    Then, also from your philosophical reference…
    “Suppose that there had been no further development, experimental or
    theoretical, after the rival theories were first articulated, and that the
    ‘smoking gun’ result from the AAOE had been obtained in isolation.
    Could such a result have been decisive in choosing between three rival
    embryonic theories? I am contending that it could have done so,and that
    it could have done so quite definitely. The essence of the result is that
    wherever ozone is disappearing, ClO levels are anomalously high.”

    Note the last sentence: This ‘essence’ is seen at places in the polar vortex. But this essence is NOT what is seen at 30°N. Indeed, as I have tried to point out, it is the reverse at 30°N. Wherever ozone is disappearing (below 25 km; Stolarski et al., 1992), ClO levels are low to non-existent (Zander et al., 1992). The gas-phase “standard” model uses these catalytic couplet equations: Cl + O3 = ClO + O2 and then ClO + O = Cl + O2. Explain, please, how ClO ABOVE 25 km in the mid-latitudes can be destroying ozone BELOW 25 km.

    Comment by Ken — 12 Jan 2009 @ 11:08 AM

  111. Sure, and Darwin was wrong too, in the details. As is every early scientific work in any field. That’s how it works. Your point is what? do you claim there’s something wrong with what we’re doing now? That science does not proceed directly from perfect theory to political decision? That if we hadn’t looked at the Antarctic, we wouldn’t have acted to control CFCs and the result would be disastrous? Or something else?

    The point you miss is that long-lived, persistent new compounds added to the atmosphere build up slowly over a long period of time and if we hadn’t stopped adding them the problem would have been intractable by now. We were lucky to find a stronger effect earlier than the first ideas suggested — a slower weaker effect would have added up to as much of a problem over a longer period of time. Can you think of any current analogy?

    Society is damned lucky when a scientist’s work leads to early discovery of serious problems before they become enormous.

    Consider tobacco. Consider antibiotic resistance. Consider estrogen mimics. Consider much else you can find in the public health journals. All cases where the science was good early on but the societal response has been far slower while the commercial development moved very quickly because there was no egregious early problem to point out, only the slow accumulation of the problem.

    You seem to think you have a point, but you haven’t expressed it.
    Take everything you say. Add the “So what?” if it’s pertinent to this thread. Are you just trying to argue against the precautionary principle?

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 12 Jan 2009 @ 11:46 AM

  112. A bit more on this general area — recently:
    “… there is a secular increase in the occurrence frequency of polar mesospheric clouds (PMC), along with an anti-correlation with the solar activity. The combined data records from the Solar Backscatter Ultraviolet (SBUV and SBUV/2) instruments provide the longest satellite record (28 years) of the PMC frequency of occurrence.”

    From 1995:
    Global change in the mesosphere-lower thermosphere region: has it already arrived?
    G.E. Thomas

    “… At the cold mesopause at high latitude, …. All models predict a future lowering of temperature throughout much, if not all of the MLT region, as a result of enhanced IR cooling and dynamical feedbacks…”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 18 Jan 2009 @ 4:41 PM

  113. 271, Seems to be debatable and very dependant upon what “costs” are included.

    But the dreamers of the world also have to consider that we still have to have a generation capacity capable of meeting full demand for those many times when the wind doesn’t blow (like when it’s really cold) and the sun doesn’t shine (like at night and the winter, for all practical purposes). The prevalence of too many dreamers and too few engineer/scientists in la-la-liberal-land is going to be our demise. Almost guaranteed!

    Comment by jae — 18 Jan 2009 @ 8:44 PM

  114. jae posts:

    But the dreamers of the world also have to consider that we still have to have a generation capacity capable of meeting full demand for those many times when the wind doesn’t blow (like when it’s really cold) and the sun doesn’t shine (like at night and the winter, for all practical purposes). The prevalence of too many dreamers and too few engineer/scientists in la-la-liberal-land is going to be our demise. Almost guaranteed!

    1. By storing excess heat in molten salts, many solar thermal plants achieve nearly 24/7 operation.

    2. Energy can also be stored in batteries, flywheels, capacitors, compressed air, and water pumped uphill.

    3. Geothermal energy runs 24/7.

    4. Biofuels can be burned at any hour of the day.

    5. Wide-area electric grids using direct current could even out the power even from highly intermittent point sources.

    Comment by Barton Paul Levenson — 19 Jan 2009 @ 9:37 AM

  115. But we’re digressing.

    Has anyone gotten a response from the Sherbrooke people?

    I’ve tried again a while ago with their PR department but not heard any response; the second time the guy told me he’d pass the request for an update on to the management there.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 19 Jan 2009 @ 12:21 PM

  116. Thanks, Wayne, that is helpful. :)

    Comment by Erkan — 20 Jan 2009 @ 12:53 PM

  117. (

    “MUNICH, Germany — Researchers from Fraunhofer have managed to squeezed an efficiency of 41 percent out of photovoltaic cells. The Freiburg, Germany, based institute claims this is world record….” 01/15/2009

    Not ready for commercial production yet, it’s a concentrator, but it’s a new way to move the apparently inevitable defects in solar cells out of the working area, and to make them use more of the solar spectrum rather than using only a narrow band.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 20 Jan 2009 @ 1:45 PM

  118. OK, Waterloo’s PR office is back at it. I never heard back from my third attempt to contact them last fall. Now they’ve moved the goalpost and called it a touchdown. NOTE, I have no idea if the actual science paper said what the university PR offic claims, either last time or this time, yet.

    Last year: “predicts … largest”
    2008-09-16 10:09:59
    New theory predicts the largest ozone hole over Antarctica will occur this

    WATERLOO, Ont. (Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2008) — A University of Waterloo
    scientist says that cosmic rays are a key cause for expanding the hole in
    the ozone layer over the South Pole — and predicts the largest ozone hole
    will occur in one or two weeks. …

    They’re still at it (“fifth largest” hole as “proof”)
    2009-03-23 10:05:59
    “UW prof says cyclic ozone hole proves cosmic ray theory

    WATERLOO, Ont. (Monday, March 23, 2009) — A University of Waterloo
    scientist says that an observed cyclic hole in the ozone layer provides
    proof of a new ozone depletion theory involving cosmic rays, a theory
    outlined in his new study, just published in Physical Review Letters….”

    I hope it’s just bad writing by the PR office at the university there.

    Do a little reading before you jump on this one, folks, it’s really hard to tell who actually is claiming what. (2001 story on the same researcher, gives detail on lab experiment done that’s worth reading, no idea what else happened between then and now tho’)

    CBC headline is actually informative, deserves some kind of award!
    “New theory blames cosmic rays for helping CFCs deplete ozone
    Fellow scientists say Waterloo professor’s hypothesis needs more study”

    Here’s the 2001 paper:

    Cited by has a fairly long list including criticism and responses:

    — this will take you up to the most recent reply by the authors to criticism. This abstract from that link makes me really wonder if this is mostly a university PR department overblowing work.

    In our recent paper [J. Chem. Phys.128, 041102 (2008)], we reported a femtosecond time-resolved laser spectroscopic study of the electron transfer reaction of CCl4 in liquid ethanol. Our results provide direct evidence of the resonant dissociative electron transfer (RDET) of the presolvated electron to CCl4, and indicate that RDET can be an efficient process in an aqueous environment. In a recent Comment, the author argues that the relevance of diethanolamine (DEA) induced destruction of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in the polar stratosphere as a possible pathway for chemical ozone destruction should not be a motivation for further studies of DEA on CFC molecules, as no correlation is observed between polar chemical ozone loss and cosmic ray activity. Here, we show that this claim is misleading: it is made by using inconclusive and ambiguous data while ignoring pronounced and well-documented data. ”


    My recommendation — read papers before commenting.
    Or at least, SAY if you’ve bothered to read them before commenting on the science.

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Mar 2009 @ 10:19 AM

  119. A reminder, most of the papers in this particular area are NOT available online to nonsubscribers.
    Someone who wants to actually comment on or do a review of this will have to do some serious library work.
    _____ReCaptcha Says____
    rough activities]

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 30 Mar 2009 @ 10:37 AM

  120. “capacity capable of meeting full demand for those many times when the wind doesn’t blow (like when it’s really cold) and the sun doesn’t shine (like at night and the winter, for all practical purposes).”

    And you can move electricity about using some sort of high-voltage wire system across the country. A grid across the nation for electrical power.

    You can have better insulation and the need for heating when it is cold is reduced.

    You can have more efficient lighting for when it’s dark. Or don’t work so late when it’s dark (isn’t that what all that the “daylight saving” about? Change the midday so the sun is used in the evening-biased work day 9-5?).

    Scotland uses about 20% of the US average. It’s quite a long way north. It’s quite cold and dark there and the winter nights lasts a long time. They are a first-world country with all the modern amenities that implies.

    If the US were worried about baseload, why don’t they cut the baseload down?

    If the UK is worried, why do they have so many sodium lights on at night when everyone is inside in the light? Or businesses lit up like it were daytime when closed?

    Comment by Mark — 30 Mar 2009 @ 11:15 AM

  121. Lu’s paper allows for more variability than the university PR department’s press release.

    The fall 2008 paper is on his website:
    ” Dr. Lu’s Latest Proof of the Cosmic Ray Theory for the Ozone Hole …”

    “… the monthly mean total O3 over Antarctica in October 2008 is predicted to be about 187 DU, close to the measured value of 181 DU in 2006 (one of the deepest holes) [28]. Because of the accumulative effect of CR-driven electron reaction products, there may exist a time delay of about 1 year between the CR intensity maximum and the maximum ozone loss in the polar hole. For instance, the largest ozone holes were observed in 1987 and 1998, respectively, corresponding to the CR intensity maxima observed in 1986 and 1997. Although atmospheric dynamics and meteorological conditions could influence the CR effect and lead to large fluctuations of the O3 hole from year to year, a long-term trend of the polar O3 loss (hole) is predictable. It is interesting to examine these predictions….”

    Comment by Hank Roberts — 7 Apr 2009 @ 4:26 PM

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