Cosmic Conspiracy. Cosmic rays could be a major contributor to ozone destruction over Antarctica.
Image credit: NASA TOMS Satellite (Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer)
According to recent research, cosmic rays may be enlarging the hole in the ozone layer. Researchers analyzed data from several sources, and found a strong correlation between cosmic ray intensity and ozone depletion. Back in the lab they demonstrated a mechanism by which cosmic rays could cause a buildup of ozone-depleting chlorine inside polar clouds. Their results suggest that the damage done by cosmic rays could be millions of times larger than anyone previous believed and may force atmospheric scientists to reexamine their models of the antarctic ozone hole.