Related topics: global warming

Iodine may slow ozone layer recovery

A new paper quantifying small levels of iodine in Earth's stratosphere could help explain why some of the planet's protective ozone layer isn't healing as fast as expected.


The stratosphere is the second major layer of Earth's atmosphere, just above the troposphere, and below the mesosphere. It is stratified in temperature, with warmer layers higher up and cooler layers farther down. This is in contrast to the troposphere near the Earth's surface, which is cooler higher up and warmer farther down. The border of the troposphere and stratosphere, the tropopause, is marked by where this inversion begins, which in terms of atmospheric thermodynamics is the equilibrium level. The stratosphere is situated between about 10 km (6 miles) and 50 km (31 miles) altitude above the surface at moderate latitudes, while at the poles it starts at about 8 km (5 miles) altitude.

The word stratosphere is from the Greek meaning 'stratified layer'.

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