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Ice Boat Details Ozone Collapse
By Wendy Heller, December 16, 2007 @ 02:00 AM (EST)
Source: Bbc.co.uk

Observations from a boat that drifted with the ice across the North Pole show the gas can disappear in just days.

Dr Jan Bottenheim told a US conference that the precise chemical reactions involved were not fully understood.

However, he said any changes to these processes as the Arctic warmed might limit the region's ability to deal with pollutants in the atmosphere.

"Ozone is the source for the 'vacuum cleaner of the atmosphere' - the molecule OH. So if we don't have as much ozone, we can't make as much hydroxide. If we then pump pollutants from mid-latitudes into the Arctic, they may just stay there," explained Dr Bottenheim.

"But a lot of this is speculation at the moment because so much of this information is new and we are not sure what to make of it."

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