Protecting stratospheric ozone: The halocarbon problem persists



Recent advances in computer-processed models and in atmospheric chemistry and physics ‘have not altered the principal conclusion… that continued release of halocarbons into the atmosphere will result in a significant decrease in the amount of stratospheric ozone,’ a National Research Council panel report warns. Stratospheric ozone keeps excessive amounts of biologically harmful portions of solar ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth's surface.

‘The best current data suggest that the potential effects’ of supersonic air transports on stratospheric ozone ‘are smaller than previously predicted but that those of halocarbon releases are greater,’ the report states. The report, Stratospheric Ozone Depletion by Halocarbons: Chemistry and Transport (Panel on Stratospheric Chemistry and Transport, Committee on Impacts of Stratospheric Change, Assembly of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, National Research Council, 249 pp., 1979), describes changes in the past 3 years in the understanding of the ozone problem.