From victim to perpetrator: how ozone harms the ocean’s climate cooling ability
Environment Climate Change Ozone layer

From victim to perpetrator: how ozone harms the ocean’s climate cooling ability

Endre Szvetnik
Endre Szvetnik

In 10 seconds? Researchers have discovered how ozone (O3) concentrations have contributed to global warming in the Southern Hemisphere. The increasing levels of the gas in the lower levels of the atmosphere were found to weaken an important cooling mechanism.

What? Ozone is now the bad boy? To simplify it, ozone is good in the upper, stratospheric part of the atmosphere (5-10 km above the surface) because it protects us from the UV rays of the Sun and bad in the lower, tropospheric part (up to 5 km above the surface). This is because it lets the top layer of the sea to warm up. According to a recent study, over the last 70 years ozone levels in the upper part of the atmosphere dropped and increased in the near-surface part over the Southern Ocean (aka the Antarctic Ocean). That made the top 2km layer of the ocean warm up faster than previously thought – the paper says.

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