Ozone Hole Stabilizing But Not Shrinking Yet

English: Ozone Hole

English: Ozone Hole (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The hole in the ozone layer is stabilizing but will take until about 2070 to fully recover, according to new research by NASA scientists.

The assessment comes more than two decades after the Montreal Protocol, the international treaty that banned chlorofluorocarbons and other compounds that deplete the ozone layer, which shields the planet from harmful ultraviolet rays.

Levels of chlorine in the atmosphere are falling as a result of the treaty, but have not yet dropped below the threshold necessary to have a shrinking effect on the ozone hole that forms each year over Antarctica, according to scientists at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. They presented their findings last week at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/nation/2013/12/16/Ozone-hole-stabilizing-but-not-shrinking-yet/stories/201312160113#ixzz2neqxGjk1

Biologists Count Penguins By Satellite

Emperor Penguins in Ross Sea, Antarctica

Emperor Penguins in Ross Sea, Antarctica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Editor’s note:  I like penguins 🙂  Glad there is good news to report!

Using space technology to sniff out a telltale trail of penguin poop strewn about the edges of Antarctica, scientists have completed the first-ever census of an animal population taken with satellite imagery.

The collaboration of British and American researchers was able to identify 44 emperor penguin colonies, including seven that were previously unknown. They counted 595,000 birds — twice as many as they expected to see.

“Now that we have this baseline information, we can start asking new questions” about the Antarctic ecosystem, said Michelle LaRue, a doctoral student in conservation biology at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and coauthor of a paper about the discovery, published Friday in the journal PLoS One.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-penguins-20120414,0,6965187.story