Pinatubo fails to deepen the ozone hole

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Author: Richard A. Kerr
Date: Oct. 16, 1992
From: Science(Vol. 258, Issue 5081)
Publisher: American Association for the Advancement of Science
Document Type: Article
Length: 636 words

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When the Philippine volcano Pinaubo exploded last year, pumping the upper atmosphere full of fine debris, researchers foresaw yet another assault on the stratosphere's beleaguered ozone layer. Some calculations of the effects of volcanic debris implied that as much as 25% to 30% of the ozone shield over temperate latitudes might be eaten away by the volcanic haze--five times the observed loss over the past decade. Early measurements didn't bear our that concern, but researchers weren't prepared to call off the alarm until the verdict came in from the most vulnerable part of the planet's ozone layer, the frigid stratosphere over Antarctica.

Last week, the annual Antarctic ozone hole "hit bottom." Its rating of Pinatubo's ozone-depleting power: modest at best. Says Arlin Krueger of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, where stratospheric ozone is monitored by satellite: "We had a pool going here on how deep the hole would go. Most people were betting on the low...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A12710378