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ozone layer

Solar storms from giant sun spot heading toward Earth

According to the Space Weather Observers Solar flares are heading towards Earth and are expected to strike Earth’s magnetic field sooner.

Scientists: Asteroid could destroy ozone

Tucson -- An asteroid colliding with Earth could wipe out the ozone layer forcing humans into a vampire-like life of hiding indoors during daylight hours, scientists say.

Scientists at the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Ariz., say an asteroid a half-mile wide could create a worldwide hole in the ozone layer with a massive loss of protection against the sun's ultraviolet radiation, reported Tuesday.

Their computer models showed ozone destruction resulting from an asteroid impact in the world's oceans launching seawater vapor hundreds of miles into the atmosphere.

New technique could help ozone layer

Norwich, England -- A new way to measure atmospheric gases could track down sources of CFCs thought to be slowing the recovery of Earth's ozone layer, European researchers say.

CFCs, chlorofluorocarbons, were used in refrigerants and aerosol propellants until restricted by a global treaty in 1987, but they have stayed in the air longer than many expected, the BBC reported Friday.

A team of British and German researchers says it is now possible to chemically "fingerprint" CFCs to potentially trace their origin.

The scientists worked on samples of atmosphere retrieved from 115,000 feet in the stratosphere by French space agency balloons.

Ozone depletion might be getting better

Paris -- Scientists using European Space Agency satellite data say they've discovered the depletion of the Earth's ozone layer might be easing.

"We found a global slightly positive trend of ozone increase of almost 1 percent per decade in the total ozone from the last 14 years: a result that was confirmed by comparisons with ground-based measurements," said Diego Loyola, who worked on the project with colleagues from the German Aerospace Center.

Ashley Jones and Jo Urban from Sweden's Chalmers University of Technology and colleagues analyzed the long-term evolution of stratospheric ozone from 1979 to the present. These data show a decrease in ozone from 1979 until 1997, and a small increase since then, the ESA said.