Lesser known ozone layer’s outsized role in planet warming

Ozone is a gas composed of three oxygen atoms. Many studies have described ozone in the stratosphere, and its role in shielding people from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation. Closer to ground level, in the troposphere, ozone is harmful to humans.

New research led by UC Riverside scientists reveals this lower level ozone is adding a great deal of heat to the Southern Ocean — more than scientists previously understood.

This finding has now been published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Oceans remove a majority of the carbon and heat that enter the atmosphere when humans burn fossil fuels. The Southern Ocean, also called the Antarctic Ocean, collects a third of all excess carbon in the world’s atmosphere, and an estimated 75% of the excess heat collected by the world’s oceans.

Historically, about a third of the ocean’s warming is attributable to ozone. For this third, about 40% is from the stratosphere, and the rest is troposphere.

Volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, from products like pesticides, tobacco smoke and automobiles are gases that form the building blocks of tropospheric ozone. The same is true

— source University of California – Riverside | Apr 22, 2022

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Guantánamo’s Youngest Prisoner Cleared for Release 20 Years After He Was Jailed Without Charges

The U.S. government has cleared Guantánamo’s youngest prisoner for release. Hassan bin Attash has been jailed by the U.S. for the last 20 years, even though has never been charged with a crime. He was just 17 years old when he was captured in Karachi by Pakistani security services in 2002 and turned over to the United States. Attorneys say Attash was tortured by the U.S. and its allies for up to 12 hours a day over a two-year period, including at a CIA black site. The Biden administration says Attash will remain at the Guantánamo Bay prison while it tries to find a country willing to offer him rehabilitation.

— source democracynow.org | Apr 28, 2022

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How the Climate Crisis Could Spark the Next Pandemic

As the U.S. COVID death toll approaches 1 million, we turn now to look at how the climate emergency could spark the next pandemic. A new study published in Nature shows the climate crisis and urban sprawl is forcing many wild mammals to relocate to new habitats where they interact with new species, including humans, leading to more viruses spilling over from one species to another. The researchers say this shuffling of viruses in mammals has already started and will increase as the Earth continues to warm.

what they did was to look at maps of where some 3,000 mammal species are now and where they’re likely going to be in warmer worlds under various conditions of projected warming. And then they will take different pairs of mammals and look at where those ranges overlap in ways that they currently don’t, and then predict how often those overlaps will lead to the kinds of spillovers that I’ve talked about. It’s a huge effort. No study like this has been attempted before, and it took them three years, over the course of the current pandemic, to do it.

But the results are very stark and quite grim. So, for example, it turned out that the hot spots for future spillovers are going to lay in the tropics, areas that are diverse in species and tend to be quite mountainous, so a lot of tropical Africa and Southeast Asia. They’re going to proportionately happen in areas that are basically in humanity’s backyard, areas

— source democracynow.org | Apr 29, 2022

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Saharan dust turns skies orange over Europe

A large, brown swath of Saharan dust can be seen in numerous satellite images blanketing much of Portugal, Spain and France, leading to air quality concerns and hazy skies. The strong winds from Storm Celia off the northwest coast of Africa picked up dust from the Sahara desert and lofted it into the atmosphere. The southerly winds then pushed the dust northward into Europe, creating haunting scenes across the region.

On Tuesday, the European Environment Agency already measured dust concentrations in Spain over five times the European Union’s recommended threshold for air quality, according to Copernicus, the EU’s Earth observation program. Air quality continues to be poor in the region today as well.

We will likely see more of these events in the near future. Climate change could be worsening the Saharan dust transport to Europe, as wind and precipitation patterns change as a result of warming temperatures of the land and ocean. Widespread desertification in Northern Africa and stronger winds over the Mediterranean could be making these dust events more intense, research has shown.

Satellite imagery from NASA shows the blanket of Saharan dust over Western and Central Europe.

— source cnn.com | Mar 16, 2022

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Argentina Honors Scientists Killed by the Dictatorship

On Thursday, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez led a tribute in memory of scientists Alicia Cardoso, Dante Guede, Roberto Lopez, Liliana Galletti, Mario Galuppo, Federico Lüdden, Manuel Saavedra, and Martin Toursarkissian, who disappeared during Jorge Videla’s dictatorship (1976-1981).

“If the dictator Videla feared anything, it was ‘thought’,” Fernandez said while delivering documents with detailed information about the eight researchers to the audience.

“Regardless of their political affiliation, all Argentinians must unite to condemn the dictatorship’s brutality,” he stressed, adding that those who do not so are denying the greatest tragedy in Argentine history.

The tribute was possible thanks to the investigations carried out by Memory Commission of the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET), which listed the researchers who disappeared during the dictatorship.

On Thursday, Argentina celebrates the National Remembrance Day for Truth and Justice to recall the March 24, 1976 coup d’état, which overthrew the government of Maria Martinez de Peron.

— source telesurenglish.net | 24 Mar 2022

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