The ozone layer victim solar storms 2003

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The concentrations of nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the upper atmosphere have reached in the spring 2004, their highest level since 1985, causing a decrease in the stratospheric ozone layer over 60% in some cases. Cora Randall of the University of Colorado-Boulder, and colleagues at JPL, NOAA, the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, NASA, Hampton University and various European laboratories (Norway and Sweden) and Canada studied data from seven satellites to find an explanation for this phenomenon, observed over the Arctic and northern regions of Europe, Asia and North America. Their findings, published in Geophysical Review Letters, large quantities of energetic particles that hit the Earth during solar storms 2003 end led to the formation of excess NO NO2 and gas, known for their role in the destruction of stratospheric ozone. Moreover, the polar vortex that isolates each year the winds of the Arctic has been particularly strong in February and March 2004, which favored a longer residence time of nitrogen oxides in the ozone layer. The ozone loss is classic thing in winter and spring but it comes with decades of trend recession, which is why the level of fall in 2004, very important, surprised. It illustrates the difficulty for researchers to analyze the causes, natural or human-induced. (Arctic Ozone Loss Concerns Researchers)



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