Ozone depletion is a major climate driver in the southern hemisphere

December 1, 2014, Wiley

When people hear about the dangers of the ozone hole, they often think of sunburns and associated health risks, but new research shows that ozone depletion changes atmospheric and oceanic circulation with potentially devastating effects on weather in the Southern Hemisphere weather.

These could include increased incidence of extreme events, resulting in costly floods, drought, wildfires, and serious environmental damage. The ecosystem impacts documented so far include changes to growth rates of South American and New Zealand trees, decreased growth of Antarctic mosses, and changing biodiversity in Antarctic lakes.

"The ozone hole changes Southern Hemisphere summer rainfall and wind patterns, and we need to consider what that means for natural ecosystems, food security and human health" said Dr. Sharon Robinson, lead author of the Global Change Biology article.

Explore further: Relationship between the ozone depletion and the extreme precipitation in austral summer

More information: Robinson, S. A. and Erickson, D. J. (2014), Not just about sunburn - the ozone hole's profound effect on climate has significant implications for Southern Hemisphere ecosystems. Global Change Biology. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.12739

Related Stories

Greenhouse gases to overpower ozone hole

November 2, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- One set of human-created gases is starting to relinquish its hold on Antarctic climate as another group of emissions produced by human activity is starting to take hold, according to a paper in Nature Geoscience, ...

2014 Antarctic ozone hole holds steady

October 30, 2014

The Antarctic ozone hole reached its annual peak size on Sept. 11, according to scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The size of this year's hole was 24.1 million square kilometers ...

Forecasting temperature extremes with ozone

May 28, 2014

For the past two summers, Australians have sweated through record heat waves, with thermometers climbing as high as 118 degrees Fahrenheit in parts of the country. In January, officials were forced to halt tennis matches ...

Recommended for you

New kind of aurora is not an aurora at all

August 20, 2018

Thin ribbons of purple and white light that sometimes appear in the night sky were dubbed a new type of aurora when brought to scientists' attention in 2016. But new research suggests these mysterious streams of light are ...

The bright ways forests affect their environment

August 20, 2018

For decades scientists have tried to understand why forests emit the volatile gases that give pine forests their distinctive smell. A new study led by the University of Leeds may have found the answer.

New study identifies strategies in US climate litigation

August 20, 2018

The courts have played a central role in climate change policy, starting with a landmark Supreme Court case that led to the mandatory regulation of greenhouse gases in the United States. How do the courts address climate ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.