More frequent, powerful storms in the Great Plains are penetrating deep into the atmosphere, risking ozone loss and increased dangerous UV radiation, scientists warn.
http://www.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2017/june/june-photos/NASA%20stratosphere%20fp.jpgThe ozone layer in our atmosphere keeps much of the sun's ultraviolet radiation from hitting the surface. Too much of it gives people skin cancer and can destroy plants and crops.
Harvard researchers found that this stratospheric ozone layer above the central U.S. gets depleted during the summer, most likely as intense storms send water vapor into the atmosphere. The vapor can cause the types of chemical reactions that have spurred ozone loss in Arctic and Antarctic regions.
The stratosphere, which extends from about 7 miles above the surface to nearly 30 miles above the ground, is one of the most “delicate aspects of habitability on the planet,” the researchers wrote in the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.