New ozone-destroying chemicals found in atmosphere. Scientists warn that “mysterious compounds undermining recovery of ozone hole over Antarctica.” Image © NASA animation by Robert Simmon.
Scientists from the University of East Anglia have identified at least four new chemicals that damage the ozone layer.
The chemicals may be leaking from industrial plants or used illegally, are also extremely potent greenhouse gases.
The hole leaving populations in the southern hemisphere dangerously exposed to UV rays and cancer.
Dr. Johannes Laube led the study published in the journal Nature Geoscience, said:
We still don’t know the source of these chemicals.Illegal activity is one possibility, but there are also lots of loopholes and caveats in the Montreal Protocol that may need addressing.
For example, it seems that an exemption was granted for CFC-113a in 2003 for the manufacture of an insecticide.
And there are problems with the reporting system. Uses have to be reported but they’re not made public. So it’s possible that CFC-113a has been reported somewhere, but we can’t track it.