[hackerspaces] Radical Solution To Save The Ozone Layer

B F bakmthiscl at gmail.com
Tue Oct 18 14:00:57 CEST 2011

Ozone is very easily produced by exposing an oxygen atmosphere to UV
light.  My little solar-powered bug zapper (with a UV lamp to attract
bugs) produces enough ozone for me to smell.  (Yes, I can smell ozone.
 I understand that not everybody can.)

Well, the sun is an excellent source of UV light, especially in the
upper atmosphere, before it gets filtered out BY the atmosphere.

So the question you need ask is why, with all this UV present, is the
ozone hole appearing?  I don't really know the answer.  In the past
this was (correctly) attributed to certain polluting gases -- freons
-- that react with ozone in the upper atmosphere and destroy it.  I
don't know whether that is the reason for the reappearance of the
ozone hole.  I'd read somewhere it was related to weather conditions:
"The cause for both the Arctic and Antarctic ozone holes is the same,
the study says: unusually cold conditions that convert chemicals
produced by humans into ozone-gobbling forms of chlorine.  Although
the release of ozone-depleting substances was limited by the 1989
Montreal Protocol, scientists say the long lifetimes of such chemicals
once in the atmosphere will ensure Antarctic ozone holes for decades
to come."  (http://www.mercurynews.com/green-living/ci_19106418)  So
it's weather conditions plus long-lived pollutants.

Bottom line -- there's plenty of oxygen and UV up there, but the rate
of formation of ozone cannot keep up with its rate of depletion.
Until the freon-like pollutants disappear, that condition will remain,
at least sometimes.

So, if you want to prevent ozone holes, (1) work to further reduce
such pollution, and/or (2) come up with a means of scavenging these
freon-like pollutants from the upper atmosphere.  (Good luck on that
second one -- you'll need it!)

Okay, now back off and ask why this matters.  "Depletion of ozone in
the upper atmosphere allows more ultraviolet radiation from the sun to
reach the surface, potentially causing an increase in skin cancer and
other health problems. " (ibid.)

Notice that this does NOT say anything about the melting of the polar
ice caps.  Those ice caps ARE melting, but that is not due to a hole
in the ozone layer.  Okay, maybe the hole contributes slightly by
allowing more high-energy light through, but that's probably neither
here nor there.

In fact, the ozone hole and the melting of the ice have nothing to do
with each other.  The melting of the ice is due to the increased
thermal load of the Earth.  This is sometimes called "Global warming",
but there's really no great warming involved.

Here's why:  Take a styrofoam cup or insulated coffee mug.  Fill it
3/4 full with ice cubes, then all the way full with water.  Stir.
Insert a thermometer and read the temperature.  It will be 32*F (=
0*C).  Now it should be obvious that if the room is warm, heat will be
entering the cup from the top. As a result, the ice will melt slowly
(or fast).  From time to time, stir a little more and take another
reading of the thermometer.  It will still read 32*F.  Some time
later, only a little ice will remain.  If you stir again and read the
thermometer, it will still read 32*F!  Not until all the ice is melted
will the water temperature begin to rise.  All the heat entering the
cup is going to melt the ice.  Not until the ice is completely melted
will the water temperature begin to rise to room temperature.

The Earth is the same way, except, despite all the winds and currents,
the stirring is incomplete.  Also, the "cup" is non-insulating, so
heat enters across broad areas and even radiates away on the night
side.  All this gives rise to extensive weather patterns and changes
in temperatures.  But the ice is melting.  When all that ice melts,
the temperature of the Earth WILL begin to rise.

But all is not lost.  When crops fail and lowlands are flooded by the
rising sea, international forbearance is sure to fail, resulting in a
thermonuclear war.  This will load the atmosphere with dust for a few
years which will shade the Earth and cause a precipitous drop in
temperature and a reforming of the ice caps and glaciers.
Furthermore, any decent war will bring an end to our fossil-fuel-based
economy, so greenhouse gas emissions will drop off precipitously.

Life will go on.  Probably on six legs.

On Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 7:30 AM, David Venancio <metabaron at massmulti.org> wrote:
> Thanks, I'm quite overloaded with work atm but you'r right.
> I'v posted the same text on my blog here : http://david.venancio.free.fr/?q=node/35
> Please everyone try to do it if I can't (at least this week). Next week I'll find time to continue on this idea.
> Thanks again and RiseUP !
> --David
> Le mar 18/10/11 13:02 , Petr Baudis  a écrit::
>  Hi!
> On Tue, Oct 18, 2011 at 12:49:32PM +0200, David Venancio wrote:
>> My proposal is to build a stratospheric baloon equiped with Solar Panels and the a quite huge Ozone Producer (electric arcs produced by Coupled inductors + Capacitors based on Nikola Tesla's invention). Eventually several baloons.
>> I KNOW this may sound crazy, mad, stupid or whatever BUT will we stay like this watching the ice melt down ?
>  When I imagine this in action, I gotta say it would look madly cool.
> :-)
>  However, if you want to convince people to get seriously interested,
> I think you should present at least rough back-of-the-envelope
> calculations and few crucial numbers:
>  * How much ozone is being depleted, i.e. what exactly are we trying to
>    combat.
>  * How much ozone would you be able to generate with a single
>    reasonably-sized and reasonably-priced device given current solar
>    panel and battery technology.
> --
>                                Petr "Pasky" Baudis
> We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island
> of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorace. -- J. A. Wheeler
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