NEW JERSEY (September 2, 2021)—During a press conference following the flooding in New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said “The world is changing, these storms are coming in more frequently.”
"The world is changing, these storms are coming in more frequently," Gov. Murphy says on historic flooding. "We have got to leap forward and get out ahead of this. Any infrastructure money we get, I bet a lot of it will be put into resilient infrastructure." pic.twitter.com/UVTYxp45Bj— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 2, 2021
In a study of the World Forum “the effect of the ozone hole on weather patterns is most pronounced in summer and may also be responsible for more extreme events including floods, drought and wildfires throughout the Southern Hemisphere.”
“The ozone hole has also led to dramatic changes in Southern Hemisphere weather patterns. These in turn are altering natural ecosystems and food production,” added the World Forum.
Ozone Damages Changing The Weather
In recent years, climate scientists have shown that the ozone hole has had a profound impact on weather systems throughout the Southern Hemisphere, especially during summer.
The ozone hole pulled the polar jet stream further south, increasing its strength. These winds isolate Antarctica and helped to keep most of it cold as the rest of the world warms. This prevented sea ice melt and rising sea-levels.
By changing atmospheric circulation, the ozone hole modifies wind, rain and snowfall patterns across the Southern Hemisphere. The changing pattern and strength of winds has caused shifts in the regions that get plenty of rain or snowfall, and those that stay dry. For example, in the United States that has been historical flooding this summer from the Gulf Coast to the East Coast. More deaths from flooding has occurred following the exist of rockets on the ozone.
Recently, two competing billionaires launched successful trips to space in the race for commercial space travel–which may have impacted the ozone. Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos blasted off into space and caused ozone damages upon exit and re-entry on the New Shepard spacecraft last month. Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson rocketed into space on his own aircraft, again–exiting and re-entering the ozone.
Ozone Damages In East Antarctica
According to the World Forum study “in East Antarctica lake biodiversity changed as lakes become saltier, due to less freshwater entering the lakes.”
“Stronger winds also changed how the oceans mix — and this affects ocean productivity, and the ability of the Southern Oceans to take up CO2. The winds carry dust and can bring about blooms of phytoplankton (microscopic ocean algae) if more nutrients are transported into the ocean. Dust blowing into Antarctica could also bring spores of new species, to compete with the existing vegetation.”
“The effect of the ozone hole on weather patterns is most pronounced in summer and may also be responsible for more extreme events including floods, drought and wildfires throughout the Southern Hemisphere. Given that these extreme weather events affect water supplies, there may be many as yet unreported side effects of ozone depletion on ecosystems, ecosystem services and agriculture.”
Ozone Damages Increase Wildfires
Wildfires have already burned nearly 1.8 million acres in California this year, according to Cal Fire. Those blazes have destroyed nearly 3,000 structures.
The map below shows wildfires larger than 1 acre within the past 7 days. The larger the circle, the larger the wildfire by acres. Data is from the US Department of the Interior, Office of Wildland Fire, IRWIN, NIFC, NASA, NOAA, and ESRI and is updated every 15 minutes.
With fires raging across the state, the USDA Forest Service closed all 20 million acres of California’s national forests to public access. The fires have damaged the United States food supply, local homes, communities and impacted wildlife in the State.
In an announcement Monday, the Forest Service said the closure will extend through at least Sept. 17.
The World Is Cooler
The world is cooler now than it would have been without the Montreal Protocol’s controls on emissions of ozone depleting chemicals. This is because many of the chemicals that break down ozone are also potent greenhouse gases (such as chlorofluorocarbons — CFCs).
Climate change in the Southern Hemisphere can be attributed to ozone depletion, as well as increasing greenhouse gases. Decades after the ozone hole was identified and action was taken, we are still discovering how profound its implications are both in terms of the “world avoided”, and unanticipated climate change.
Read the entire report here.
Author: Sharon Robinson is a plant ecophysiologist and a Professor of Global Change Biology at the University of Wollongong.
Source: World Forum and California Fire Department contributed to the article.
Featured Photo: Hurricane Ida, Houma, Louisiana, August 31, 2021.