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Name: Murphy iii
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Question:
Rush Limbaugh has claimed on his famous radio program that ozone is created when long-wave radiation hits water in the upper atmosphere, creating diatomic hydrogen and triple bonded Oxygen. The new ozone blocks out this harmful radiation. Does the ozone hole self-correct this way, given enough time?



Replies:
Sure, given enough time - that is how we got an ozone layer in the first place (or so we scientists believe). As long as the rate of destruction is slower than (or equal to) the rate of creation, the ozone layer should stay in good shape. The reason that the world has agreed (with the possible exception of Rush) to limit the discharge of ozone-destroying chemicals is that our best evidence suggests that the rate of destruction is faster than the rate of creation, leading to a gradual thinning of the ozone layer.

Don Libby



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