Climate change, ozone linked?

Study finds strong summer storms deplete ozone layer over U.S.

Scientists have made a surprising connection between the ozone layer and climate change.

Scientists from Harvard University found strong summer thunderstorms send water vapor miles into the stratosphere, which interacts with lingering CFCs—refrigerant gases banned by the international Montreal Protocol treaty since the late 1980s—in an ozone-destroying reaction, according to the New York Times. The risk of ozone damage will increase if large storms spurred by climate change become more common, the study noted. Thinning ozone above the United States would increase ultraviolet exposure for millions, increasing the likelihood of skin cancer.

While scientists have kept the issues of global warming and thinning ozone separate for years, now they are “intimately connected,” said lead author Dr. James G. Anderson. “It’s the union between ozone loss and climate change that is really at the heart of this,” Anderson said.