Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Four new gases that harm ozone layer found, despite bans: study
(Reuters) - Scientists have detected four new man-made gases that damage the Earth's protective ozone layer, despite bans on almost all production of similar gases under a 1987 treaty, a study showed on Sunday.
The experts were trying to pinpoint industrial sources of tiny traces of the new gases, perhaps used in making pesticides or refrigerants, that were found in Greenland's ice and in air samples in Tasmania, Australia.
The ozone layer shields the planet from damaging ultra-violet rays, which can cause skin cancer and eye cataracts, and has been recovering after a phase-out of damaging chemicals under the U.N.'s 1987 Montreal Protocol.
"The concentrations are not yet a threat to the ozone layer," lead author Johannes Laube of the University of East Anglia in England told Reuters of the three types of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbon) and one HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbon). Read More