A high school student questioned Heartland Institute science director Jay Lehr about the ozone layer. Her query was:
“What do you think will happen to the ozone layer over the next twenty five years due to global warming?”
and Jay’s response below was:
Dear . . .,
I have studied climatology as part of my environmental studies for over 50 years and I can tell you that in fact there is not really an ozone hole. It is in fact an annual thinning then thickening of the ozone layer above the earth virtually every year. Nearly all the negative descriptions you have heard of it negatively affecting human health are quite incorrect. Efforts to decrease the ozone loss in the atmosphere would only decrease ozone loss by 5% in 50 years. In fact the impact of the ozone layer over your head increases by 5% when you move 60 miles to the north and conversely it declines 5% when you travel 60 miles south..As an example folks in Miami Florida experience twice the UVB radiation from the sun as folks in New York City 1200 miles to the north because New York has twice the protective high altitude ozone as does Miami.
I can tell you conclusively that were the earth to warm as some predict a few degrees fahrenheit in this century it would have absolutely no affect on the amount of ozone in the upper atmosphere. In fact however it is unlikely that the earth is warming now. It is in fact cooling sllightly and will likely continue to do so for a few decades. In any case man’s impact on these climate changes is negligible as such changes are also occurring on Mars, Neptune and Jupiter which to the best of our knowledge have no human element. It seems quite likely that the sun and sun alone controls the climate of the earth and the amount of ozone in the upper atmosphere.
Jay Lehr, Ph.D.
The Heartland Institute
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