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Thread: Fears as ozone hole hits record

  1. #1
    MotherBear's Avatar
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    Default Fears as ozone hole hits record

    Fears as ozone hole hits record
    By PAUL EASTON - The Dominion Post | Friday, 19 September 2008

    This year's ozone hole over Antarctica is the biggest on record, sparking fears that New Zealanders will be exposed to harmful ultraviolet radiation.

    The hole appears each year and peaks in size in late September or early October.

    But, according to the World Meteorological Organisation, the hole in the protective layer, which shields Earth from ultraviolet (UV) rays, is already bigger than last year's.

    It covers 27 million square kilometres, compared with 25 million at last year's maximum size - bigger than North America.

    National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research principal radiation scientist Richard McKenzie said New Zealanders were safe for now from the effects of the hole.

    "But when it dissipates in December it could mean a period of low ozone during summer."

    When ozone levels drop, harmful UV radiation gets through and can cause skin cancer, eye damage and harm to the immune system.

    Dr McKenzie said that, though the ozone hole was the biggest yet recorded, it was not vastly bigger than those in previous years.

    "What is interesting about this one is that it developed very quickly."

    It was not yet clear how much ozone had been lost, he said.

    SunSmart manager Wayde Beckman said people should protect their skin by following the "slip, slop, slap and wrap" rules.

    "Temperature does not indicate the level of UV radiation so you can get sunburnt even on cool or partly cloudy days."

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    Welshgirl's Avatar
    Welshgirl is offline Super Moderator
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    Worrying stuff

    After being caught on the hop a few times and getting some nasty sunburn, we're now in the habit of slip, slop, slap and wrap Especially important for the kiddies

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