A Boondoggle For The Records
For major gaffes and boondoggles throughout the century, the ozone “scare” ranks at the top. Evidently so-called scientists never took Galactic Cosmic Rays, GCRs, into the cosmic scheme. They didn’t consider lack of historical ozone measurements, and worse, the atmospheric lifetime of chlorofluorocarbons, CFCs, never entered into their equations.
But the world got the Montreal Protocol in 1987.
Dramatic new satellite ozone data was received from the Crista-Spas instruments (see Crista-Spas Project). It was designed by Germany’s University of Wuppertal, and deployed by the NASA Space Shuttle, 1994. The Crista team gave results in Bonn, 1995, but the U.S. never published the information.
German scientists told the press the models behind the ozone depletion scare were completely wrong.
For that reason, the Crista mission is complemented by Spas measuring radicals in the middle atmosphere, MAHRSI (Middle Atmosphere High Resolution Spectrograph Investigation).
3-D images showed ozone in constantly changing filamentary structures, as complex as weather systems. In contrast, the computer models used by ozone depletion protagonists assumed ozone is homogeneous, and use linear equations modelling the stratosphere. Attempts at modelling complex nonlinear processes, as in ozone, generates incorrect results.
No Ozone "Hole" Existed, Only Temporary Thinning
Crista measured ozone 24-152 miles high. Researcher Dr. Martin Riese stated the so-called ozone “hole” results from atmospheric dynamic processes--not from man-made chemicals.
Experiments have now been conducted for 10 years, and Wuppertal has launched rockets and balloons with various types of spectrometers. Geophysical Research Letters, a scientific paper by Norwegian and Russian scientists demonstrated thickness of ozone over Russia is determined by meteorology, not chemistry.(2)
Scientists discovered changes in ozone were directly caused by horizontal and vertical movements of air masses, while chemistry played no role in the thickness of the ozone. From the World of Physics, University of Oslo, confirmed ozone depletion was wrong. Evidence presented showed ozone over southern Norway was thinner from 1940-1946, than today. (4)
Roland-Molina Into Fray
The theory man-made CFCs would deplete the ozone layer is one of many. Originating in 1971 by Atmospheric Physicist James McDonald, who testified at congressional hearings for the Super-Sonic Transport (SST).
But it didn’t stop there. McDonald then presented his theory about how water-vapor emissions from the SST were going to wipe out the ozone layer.
But the media were fixated on as possible skin-cancer scare, and ozone depletion theories were generated. Some maintained the ozone layer was going to get destroyed by nitrogen oxides from nuclear tests, by nitrous oxides from fertilizer, by cow methane, by chlorine from the Space Shuttle exhaust, by acid rain, or by emissions from pesticides.
Then “Theory #6”--chlorine from space shuttle exhaust depleted the ozone. But the theory sticking actually claimed CFCs would deplete the ozone layer. That was Theory #7, invented by Sherwood Rowland and Mario Molina in 1973. For some reason, that theory “du jour” seemed to take off.
Ozone Varies Constantly
Harvard Astrophysicist Sallie Baliunas presented data in a paper in 1995 at a congressional hearing on ozone. She focused on (5) the unreliability of reported ozone depletion, which claimed 0.3 percent depletion/year. Natural variability of the ozone layer is orders of magnitude greater than reported "depletion." Over Washington, D.C., ozone varies annually by 25 percent, 80 times greater than stated anthropogenic decline.
Baliunas said "ozone depletion has to factor the natural variability of the Sun's ultraviolet output (creating ozone layer in first place), and the shift in wind patterns and meteorological conditions.”
The 1994 World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) report on ozone depletion shows ozone thickness about the same as today.
Cosmic Rays Seem To Destroy Ozone
A new study in August Physical Review Letters finds a major link between cosmic rays and ozone depletion. It shows how deep-space cosmic rays can literally “burn” a hole in our ozone layer.
Interestingly, during the same period the ozone hole appears over Antarctica, a nitrogen oxide [NOx] hole also develops. Both holes are created by the same natural phenomena. Mentioning this may lead people to question the “ozone scare” after understanding extraordinary chemistry in polar winter. So, the [NOx] hole is never mentioned.
Biological research now indicates it is not UVB that causes the malignant types of skin cancer, but UVA which is not screened out by the ozone layer.
The “ozone depletion theory” predicts a 10-20 percent increase in UVB radiation because of ozone depletion. This is a minor increase, understanding sun-earth geometry. Typically UVB usually varies by 5,000 percent from equator to poles. Altitude variance also exists. Actual instrumental measurements of ultraviolet radiation at the surface show there has been no increase in UVB levels
The amount of incoming UVB radiation is modulated by the sun’s angle at that time of year, incoming solar radiation, sun-spots, ozone thickness, cloud cover, and pollution.
The most extensive study to date of UVB radiation is conducted by the National Cancer Institute. The study, published in the 1988 issue of Science,(6) presented evidence the UVB reaching ground level stations across the U.S. has not increased, but decreased from 1974-1985.
A correct statistical analysis showed the trend in UV was zero. In other words, the amount of UV neither increased nor decreased over the five-year period.
UVB and Cancer Not Very Prevalent
In 1993 Brookhaven National Laboratory published results showed malignant melanoma skin cancers not caused not by UVB (UV spectrum filtered out by ozone layer) but by UVA (spectrum not affected by thickness of the ozone). (9) Succinctly, this research shows thickness of the ozone is irrelevant to malignant melanoma, the hypothetical threat allegedly posed by ozone depletion.
Norwegian scientists J. Moan and A. Dahlback express the point more directly: (11) "Increasing rates of CMM [cutaneous malignant melanoma] are not caused by an ongoing ozone depletion."
This latest atmospheric data confirms the “ozone depletion theory” as scientific heresy. In fact, when the Montreal Protocol ban was signed in 1987, despite no scientific evidence to support such a ban, the ban was initiated anyway. But most organizing the treaty knew there was no evidence. Richard Benedict, official who negotiated the Montreal Protocol, admitted this in his book: Ozone Diplomacy. (12)
What Benedict knew, but did not say, was the CFC ban directly and indirectly causes millions of deaths per year. But even years after Montreal Protocol, no ozone damage ever existed.
The production of one of the most useful manmade chemicals turned into the end of the world's food refrigeration system. CFCs are used in refrigeration systems at harvesting, transportation, storage, and distribution. This "cold chain" depended on steady supplies of CFCs. The cold chain was already collapsing (13) with the ban, especially in Africa and Eastern Europe.
In 1992, International Refrigeration experts estimated the ban was going to kill 20-40 million people every year by hunger, starvation, and foodborne diseases. Now this seems to be an underestimate.
Nothing About Atmospheric CFC Lifetimes
But the “coup de grace” of alleged ozone depletion was always the atmospheric lifetimes of CFCs. Just the “majors” produced by DuPont, Freon “11” and Freon “12”, have approximate lifetimes of 55 and 140 years respectively.
Doing the math, and using the largest CFC DuPont produced in the highest year of production (1993), reveals total chlorine carried by the “F-12” molecule should start to decrease in the year 2133 with a lifetime of 140 years.
It seems all the reported losses of depleted ozone have been totally baseless, and cosmic rays and other factors always come into play when dealing with ozone variances.
When one thinks of the billions of monetary losses, the thousands of lost jobs because of the CFC phase-out, the reduction in efficiency of replacement chemistry, and the thousands of lost lives, the term “boondoggle” doesn’t fit the bill.
It seems to be impossible to prove a negative…
[Rogelio A. Maduro, author "The Holes in the Ozone Scare” contributed; Associate Editor/ 21st Century Science & Technology]
1. Interview with Ulrich Grossman, head of the Crista Project at the University of Wuppertal, Germany, Nov. 15, 1995.
2. KjeII Henriksen and Valentin Roldugin, 1995. Geophysical Research Letters, Dec. 1, pp. 3219-3222.
3. A. Rabbe and S.H.H. Larsen, 1992. "Ozone Variations in the Northern Hemisphere Due to Dynamic Processes in the Atmosphere, Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics, Vol. 54, pp. 1107-1112; and A. Rabbe and S.H.H. Larsen, 1992. "Ozone 'Mini-hole' over Northern Scandinavia. "Journal of Atmospheric and Terrestrial Physics, Vol. 54, pp. 1447-1451.
4. Thormod Henriksen, 1994. "Ozone Layer and Ultraviolet Radiation," From the World of Physics, Vol. 4, pp. 108-114.
5. Sallie Baliunas, 1995. "Ozone Variations and Accelerated Phase-out of CFCs," Testimony presented at hearings of the House Science Committee's Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, Sept. 20.
6. Joseph Scotto, Gerald Cotton, Frederick Urback, et al., 1988. "Biologically Effective Ultraviolet Radiation: Surface Measurements in the United States, 1974 to 1985", Science, Vol. 239 (Feb. 12), pp. 762-764.
7. J.B. Kerr, and C.T. McElroy, 1993. "Evidence for Large Upward Trends of Ultraviolet-B Radiation Linked to Ozone Depletion," Science, Vol. 262 (Nov. 12), p. 1032.
8. P.J. Michaels, S.F. Singer, P.C. Knappenberger, 1994. "Analyzing Ultraviolet-B Radiation, Is There a Trend?" Science, Vol. 264, p. 1341.
9. R. Setlow, et al. 1993. "Wavelengths Effective in Induction of Malignant Melanoma," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Vol. 90 (Juty). pp. 666$4667.
10. The most important papers presented at the conference were published in book form: Ozone, Sun, Cancer, edited by L. Dubertist, R. Santus, and P. Morliere (Paris: Les Editions Insert, 1995).
11. J. Moan and A. Dahlback, 1995. "Ultraviolet Radiation and Skin ancer. Cutaneous Malignant Melanoma," in Ozone, Sun, Cancer; see note 10.
12. Richard Elliot Benedict, 1991. Ozone Diplomacy, New Directions in Safeguarding the Planet (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press), pp. 1-2.
13. D.W. Kaminski, 1988. "Refrigeration and Worldwide Food Economy," presentation at the International Refrigeration Conference of the International Refrigeration Institute in Paris; cited at length in The Holes in the Ozone Scare, p. 187. Prof. Kaminski's work was done at the Institute of Agricultural and Foodstuff Economy, Warsaw. Even Robert Watson, head of the Ozone Trends Panel that was instrumental in setting up the ozone depletion issue, admitted to journalist Alston Chase in 1989 that "probably more people would die from food poisoning as a consequence of inadequate refrigeration than would die from ozone depletion."
Kevin Roeten can be reached at email@example.com.