Summer Storms to Create New Ozone Holes as Earth Warms?
Summer storms may create new holes in our protective ozone layer as Earth heats up—bringing increased solar ultraviolet radiation to densely populated areas, a new study says. What’s more, if more sunlight reaches Earth, skin cancer could become the new marquee risk of global warming.
As the planet warms, some studies have suggested summer storms may become more frequent and intense. This would send more water vapor—a potent greenhouse gas—into the stratosphere, the middle layer of Earth’s atmosphere, which sits between 9 and 22 miles above Earth’s surface. In a recent series of research flights over the United States, Harvard University atmospheric chemist James Anderson and colleagues found that summer storms often loft water vapor into the stratosphere.