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Name: Kelley
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Question:
Is there really a hole in the ozone layer?



Replies:
That depends on what one means by a "hole". There is a thinning of the layer that is particularly severe during certain seasons at the poles. But the ozone layer is thinning most everywhere. The thinning around the south pole of earth is particularly stunning, and has been referred to as a hole even though some ozone still exists there, it is much less concentrated. As you may know, this ozone destruction is probably due to human release of pollutants such as clorofluorocarbons (CFCs) an due to natural sources such as chemicals from volcanic eruptions. CFCs are used is cooling systems such as refrigerators and air conditioning. There is an international agreement to phase out the use of these destructive chemicals but they won't be banned entirely for years for fears of losing money. Meanwhile the ozone layer thins and we are exposed to increasingly higher doses of cancer causing radiation.

Jim Murray



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