The great ozone embarrassment
Do you ever wonder why we don't hear much about the ozone hole these days? There's a reason. I made some mocking comments about the messed-up talk from Greenies about stratospheric ozone yesterday. I now want to tell more of the story.
When I searched the net for the numbers about CO2 levels and global temperature, I very rapidly found the numbers nicely set out for both. So I initially expected that I would have no trouble finding the numbers for atmospheric ozone levels. I found quite a lot of sites that gave information about that but none of them gave the underlying numbers. The information was always presented in pretty multi-colored pictures.
That is very strange. Numbers are food and drink to scientists. Pictures just cannot give you precision. So what is going on? Is there a reason for the imprecision?
I think I have eventually found out. The numbers are pretty embarrassing. Ozone levels are at least not rising and may be FALLING. Yet, according to the Ozone-hole enthusiasts, the levels should be rising. When the very expensive Montreal protocol of 1989 was imposed on us, we were told that CFC's were destroying ozone at a dangerous rate (ALL change is dangerous according to Greenies) so if we stopped producing CFCs, the ozone would bounce back and the "hole" in Antarctica would shrink away. So ozone levels should have been RISING for quite a while now.
But the opposite may have happened. I eventually found an official New Zealand statistics site which informed me that: "From 1978 to 2013, median monthly ozone concentrations decreased slightly, about 4 percent", And I found another source which put the loss to the year 2000 at 7%.
And the cooling trend in the stratosphere can only reasonably be explained by falling ozone levels. It's absorption of UV by ozone that keeps the stratosphere warm. I showed yesterday that the cooling trend cannot be explained by CO2 levels.
Greenies are always cautious about when they expect the ozone hole to close, generally putting it quite a few years in the future. They say, reasonably, that these things oscillate so the process of ozone recovery must be a gradual one and you need a long series to see a trend. But for the level to be DECLINING looks very much like proof of failure.
But I needed those elusive numbers to be certain of what was going on. And I did eventually find them at Mauna Loa. They give almost daily readings up to this year. I looked at the readings for three years, 1996, 2010 and this year. I noted that the readings in all three years varied between around 230 to 270 Dobson units, according to the time of the year. I saw no point in calculating exact averages as it was clear that, at this late stage when the effects of the CFC ban should long ago have cut in, essentially nothing was happening. The ozone level may not have fallen in recent years but it is not dropping either. The predicted rise was not there. The levels just bob up and down in the same old way within the same old range year after year
So it looks like the Montreal protocol did nothing. The whole thing seems to have been wholly misconceived. The "science" behind it was apparently wrong.
Yet it was the "success" of the Montreal protocol that inspired the Greenie assault on CO2. We have paid a big price for that hasty bit of scientific speculation.