Michael Tobis continues to lament that many years of USENET and blogging has been for naught, but Eli has a different take, which was brought home when he recently read Kate's Climate Sight post on ozone depletion. Remember MT, opposition to the Montreal Protocols was furious and involved many of our still favorite characters, S. Fred Singer, the GMI trio and more, but this ship has sailed so far into the sunset that even Kate, let alone her readers make the simplest of mistakes.
They make these mistakes, because outside of a few true dead enders, ozone depletion is history except for the folks involved in monitoring the recovery and the newspaper article in September which tells us about the depth of this year's hole. Of course, the article has moved well back into the depths of most newspapers.
We, the people of the world, have met the challenge and the younger folks think of it as sort of Science War II, before they were born stuff. Eli has good news though, there finally is a worthy successor to Robert Parson's Ozone FAQ (which still ain't bad) with snazzy figures and all: Twenty Questions and Answers About the Ozone Layer. It is accessible to all, for example, this is the answer to the old saw about how can those heavy CFCs make it up to the stratosphere
CFCs and other ozone-depleting substances reach the stratosphere despite the fact that they are “heavier than air.” For example, molecules of CFC-11 (CCl3F) and CFC-12 (CCl2F2) are approximately 4–5 times heavier than the average molecule of air, since air is composed primarily of oxygen and nitrogen. The emissions of long-lived gases accumulate in the lower atmosphere (troposphere). The distribution of these gases in the troposphere and stratosphere is not controlled by the molecular weight of each gas because air is in continual motion in these regions as a result of winds and convection. Continual air motions ensure that new emissions of long-lived gases are horizontally and vertically well mixed throughout the troposphere within a few months. It is this well-mixed air that enters the lower stratosphere from upward air motions in tropical regions, bringing with it ozone-depleting substances emitted from any location on Earth’s surface.Notice how the sum of chlorine source gases (the CFCs, methyl chloride, etc), photochemical intermediates and end products (HCl) stays the same with altitude.
Atmospheric measurements confirm that ozone-depleting substances with long atmospheric lifetimes are well mixed in the troposphere and are present in the stratosphere (see Figure Q8-2). The amounts found in these regions are generally consistent with the emission estimates reported by industries and governments. Measurements also show that gases that are “lighter than air,” such as hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4), are also well mixed in the troposphere, as expected, and not found only in the upper atmosphere. Noble gases from very light helium to very heavy xenon, which all have very long atmospheric lifetimes, are also uniformly distributed throughout the troposphere and stratosphere. Only at altitudes well above the troposphere and stratosphere (above 85 kilometers (53 miles)), where much less air is present, does the influence of winds and convection diminish to the point where heavy gases begin to separate from lighter gases as a result of gravity.