Ozone

Published December 23, 2009 by Sean

WUWT has a thread on a press release from the University of Waterloo claiming Study shows CFCs, cosmic rays major culprits for global warming.

Prof. Qing-Bin Lu published a paper (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.102.118501) in Physical Review Letters suggesting a correlation between Cosmic Rays and Ozone Depletion, using data up to 2007. There are predictions on the paper of large Ozone losses in 2008-2009, and certainly Cosmic Rays have peaked in 2009 as a result of the prolonged minimum in solar activity. (Solar activity tends to shield the earth from cosmic rays).

This article has a demonstration of the depletion and recovery of Ozone, which does seem to correlate with F10.7 solar flux.

Lu’s paper says little about climate. Ozone seems to have an indeterminate effect as a greenhouse gas. What is clear is that Ozone reached a minimum around 1997, and has been recovering slowly since. The solar minimum could be expected to slow that recovery. As it stands, Ozone seems to be inversely correlated with surface temperature, which has a recent peak around 2000, and a more recent stabilisation. Actually, Ozone may well be driven by temperature so the whole argument seems a little confused.

Now CFCs are strong greenhouse gases, so at least that part makes sense. CFC production started roughly at the point where temperatures started to rise, and cosmic rays could impact the lifetime and concentration. Nothing proven yet, just more potential mechanisms.

A 2007 presentation (pdf) has more detail on modelling the recovery of ozone, and the presence of CFCs.

Filed under Science,Solar

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