Volcanoes Belch Chlorine
-- Regardless of Opposition
By Rogelio A. Maduro (co-author of the book: "The Holes in the Ozone Hole Scare: The Scientific Evidence that the Sky is Not Falling")
Over recent months, the promoters of the ozone depletion fraud have mounted a new counteroffen-sive against the leading scientists and individuals who have debunked the ozone depletion theory. These attacks have singled out Dr. Dixy Lee Ray, talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, and, in particular, the book, The Holes in the Ozone Scare: The Scientific Evidence that the Sky is not Falling.(1)
The popular press as well as the scientific press have featured variations of the same formulations trying to refute the evidence that ozone depletion is not a grave problem, including articles in Che-mical & Engineering News, (2) May 24, 1993 and Science magazine,(3) June 11. 1993.
Most interesting in these articles and letters to the editor in various scientific and trade journals is that the promoters of the ozone scare have ignored more than 30 arguments that demonstrate that the theory is a fraud. (4) Instead, they have chosen to defend their claims on one issue alone, a sort of ozone Maginot line: What is the major source of chlorine in the stratosphere, Mother Nature or chlorofluorocarbons?
Professor F. Sherwood Rowland, inventor of the ozone-depletion theory, and his school maintain that chlorine from the oceans and volcanoes does not reach the stratosphere.(5) In their explanations of this belief, however, Rowland and others are being less than honest.
First, we should look at the numbers. According to Rowland's theory, some 7,500 tons of chlorine is released every year in the stratosphere as a result of the breakdown of CFCs by intense ultraviolet radiation. Rowland and his followers, however, do not mention that their theoretical reaction has never been observed to occur in the stratosphere, nor has it ever been carried out in a laboratory. In other words, the actual contribution of chlorine to the stratosphere from CFCs may be zero.
Nevertheless, for the sake of argument, let's assume that CFCs do contribute 7,500 tons of chlorine to the stratosphere annually. How does this compare with natural sources? Ocean biota inject 5 million tons of chlorine into the atmosphere annually; biomass burning, 8.4 million tons; volcanoes, 36 million tons; and evaporation of seawater, 600 million tons for a total of almost 650 million tons per year. The amount of chlorine injected into the atmosphere from natural sources is hundreds of thousands of times greater than the amount of chlorine allegedly released by the breakdown of CFCs in the stratosphere!
However, Rowland et al. claim that almost none of this natural chlorine reaches the stratosphere be-cause it is "rained out." This is a preposterous claim. As readers can attest, it doesn't rain all the time in all places, and, as a matter of fact, there are many places on Earth where it barely rains at all. How is the chlorine washed out of the atmosphere in these regions?
Furthermore, Rowland deliberately ignores all the transport mechanisms that bring chlorine and other chemicals to the stratosphere. Hurricanes, typhoons, thunderstorms, and the jet stream all inject enormous amounts of water vapor into the stratosphere. Chlorine and sea salt are dissolved in this water vapor. This is the reason that hurricane-monitoring planes, which fly above the hurricanes, are encrusted with salt and must be hosed down and cleaned as soon as they land.
And as Polish scientist Zbigniew Jaworowski showed definitively, based on studies of the radioactive fallout from the Chernobyl accident, chlorine and other heavy elements do reach the stratosphere.(6)
What About Volcanoes?
On the issue of volcanoes, Rowland and Turco claim that the enormous amounts of chlorine erupting from volcanoes is also "rained out" before it reaches the stratosphere. (7) The claims are not based on any scientific observations, but on a simplistic one-dimensional mathematical model. The model predicts that ejected water vapor condenses into raindrops that dissolve the hydrogen chloride (HCI) and then proceed to fall.
Volcanologists, however, point to the absurdity of these claims. How does the rain manage to fall? Rain that accompanies some eruptions is the result of water vapor being advected into the area because of the heat of the eruption; it does not come from the volcano itself. In violent volcanic eruptions, such as El Chichón and Mt. Pinatubo, almost all of the volcanic debris, including water vapor, penetrates the stratosphere.
Rowland and Turco cite a study by Mankin, Coffey, and Goldman to support their conclusions. (8) This study is flawed. It measured concentrations of HCI in the Caribbean Sea, three weeks after the Mt. Pinatubo eruption took place (in the Philippines, on the other side of the world). Because HCI is con-verted into other chlorine compounds in the volcanic cloud and in the stratosphere, one would not look only for HCI as the dominant chlorine species.
As a matter of fact, Rowland's associate, Dr. Susan Solomon, predicts that sulfur in the volcanic clouds serves as a site for heterogeneous chemical reactions that convert HCI to chlorine monoxide (CIO) and chlorine dioxide (CIO2). (9) This HCI, Solomon claims, comes from CFCs. But, what about the HCI from the volcano? Solomon assumes it doesn't exist.
What a fraud! Mankin and Coffey should have measured CIO, not HCI. No wonder they didn't find chlorine from the volcano; they were not looking for the right chlorine species.
The ozone depletion theorists allege that Mt. Erebus, an active volcano in Antarctica, does not now spew out as much chlorine as stated in The Holes in the Ozone Scare and that its emissions do not reach the stratosphere. This ignores two basic facts pointed out by the French volcanologist Haroun Tazieff: In Antarctica the stratosphere is very low (5,000 meters) and Mt. Erebus reaches a very high altitude (4,000 meters) so that its volcanic emissions indeed reach the stratosphere. (10) In sum, the claims that chlorine from natural sources does not enter the stratosphere are lacking in scientific foundation and can be classified only as a religious belief.
As for the so-called Antarctic ozone hole, the articles attempting to debunk The Holes in the Ozone Scare rely very heavily on the chemistry presented by Sherwood Rowland, Mario Molina, and Susan Solomon. These articles, however, fail to mention several scientific papers that raise serious questions regarding this chemistry. (11) The papers point out that the alleged chemical reactions presented by Molina, et al. do not follow a least-energy pathway. In other words, Rowland, Molina, and Solomon have deliberately chosen to ignore reaction pathways of least energy which are the most common in nature that do not lead to ozone depletion!
One article by NASA researcher Igor Eberstein at the Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, pu-blished in the May 1990 issue or Ceophysical Research Letters, has yet even to be challenged by the proponents of ozone depletion. In addition, as noted by S. Fred Singer, the ozone depletion theorists conveniently omit mention of research articles on the subject that do not support the intended hypothesis. (12)
Global Ozone Is Not Decreasing
Another fundamental problem with the chemistry is the tact that no decrease in ozone column depth has been detected near the Equator, the location at which the abundance of ozone is most influenced by chemistry. (At the higher latitudes, transport mechanisms and meteorology play a more important role in determining ozone column depth). Therefore, the Equator should be the first place where ozone depletion could be detected if the ozone layer were under chemical attack. (13)
Another point hammered at by Rowland and others is that the current Antarctic ozone hole is new and therefore related only to CFC use. Rowland's article and others repeat Rowland's claim that the ozone hole was not discovered by British scientist Gordon Dobson, who pioneered work on ozone. As any reader can ascertain from reading Dobson's original writings, in fact, Dobson's description of the Antarctic phenomenon of springtime thinning of ozone fits precisely with what is being observed today. (14)
The main difference between Dobson's account and today's accounts is that Dobson's measurements were taken at a single station. Therefore, lacking the encompassing view of satellites, Dobson could not see the areas of lowest ozone: concentrations, nor the scope of ozone thinning across Antarc-tica.
It is alleged that Dobson's published measurements are not as low as those being recorded since 1979, when satellite measurements began. "Published" is the key word here. In recent interviews, Dr. Marcel Nicolet, one of Dobson's key collaborators, stated emphatically that Dobson disregarded all readings below 250 dobson units because nobody would believe them! (15) Rowland was informed of this and was even given a copy of the Belgian film, but he has not changed his comments on the matter.
Other scientists have noted that the same type of observations continued in the 1960s and Dobson and his collaborators were not the only ones to observe the seasonal thinning of the ozone layer in Antarctica. In fact, the lowest levels of ozone ever measured in Antarctica were recorded in l958 at the French observatory at Durnont d'Urville (110 dobson units). (16) It is nothing short of astonishing that Dobson's original records were not reexamined before any of the Antarctic ozone hole doomsday papers were published. (17)
Finally and this must be said to put in perspective any article concerning ozone depletion the worst-case scenario of the ozone depletion theorists is that we will have a 10 percent or so depletion of the ozone layer within the next 50 years. In terms of the alleged increase in ultraviolet radiation reaching the Earth, this 10 percent depletion translates into the UV equivalent of moving 100 to 200 miles south toward the Equator. In other words, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, or from Washing-ton, D.C., to Richmond, Va., or from New York City to Philadelphia. When we put this to the inventor of the ozone depletion theory, Sherwood Rowland, he acknowledged that this was not something that he would worry about.
So why are we banning a benign refrigerant at a cost of trillions of dollars to the world economy and great human suffering? Who benefits?
Article originally published in 21st Science & Technology magazine, Fall 1993.
FAEC´s commentary by Eduardo Ferreyra: F.S. Sherwood Rowland was "awarded" the Noble Prize in 1995, along with Mario Molina and Paul J. Crutzen, for their work related to this issue. The prize was awarded not on the basis of scientific merit, however, but as a political statement of support for the promoters of the ozone depletion scare: "The three researchers have contributed to our salva-tion from a global environmental problem that could have catastrophic consequences", states the Nobel citation. In other words, it is not science, but the political agenda that matters.
This Nobel motive is not at all hidden, Henning Rhodes, a member of the Swedish Academy of Scien-ces, told the Associated Press concerning this award that "the timing is good in view of the Vienna meeting" (of the Montreal Protocol signatories). "I personally hope that the Noble Prize will put some pressure on the participants".
Rhode made clear that one of the principal reasons for awarding this prize was to stifle the opposition to the ozone depletion fraud in the scientific community. "The Nobel Prize will put a rest to this debate on whether the ozone hole really is a result of CFCs". Rhode is a close personal friend and collaborator of Paul J. Crutzen, and has been preparing the way for the Nobel award for the two pre-vious years, appearing on Swedish national radio to speak against the book "The Holes in the Ozone Scare", and against scientists who have publicly opposed the ozone catastrophe scenario.
As Haroum Tazieff, one of France´s best known scientists, said about his: "The aim of this Nobel Prize in chemistry is to intimidate honest scientists who have tried to resist the catastrophism and the lies about the ozone layer".
- Rogelio A. Maduro and Ralf Schauerhammer, 1992. The Holes in the Ozone Scare: The Scientific Evidence That the Sky Isn't Falling (Washington, D.C.: 21st Century Science Associates).
- Pamela S. Zurer, 1993. "Ozone Depletion's Recurring Surprises Challenge Atmospheric Scientists,' Chemical 8 Engineering News, May 24, pp. 8-18.
- Gary Taubes, 1993. "The Ozone Backlash, Science, June 11, pp. 1580-1583.
- Many of these arguments are presented concisely in Hugh S. E}lsaesser's article "Back to the Drawing Board: Is Stratospheric Ozone Really under Chemical Attack," 21st Century Science 8 Technology (Winter 1992), pp. 23- 27.
- See, for example, F. Sherwood Rowland, 1993. "President's Lecture, Science, June 11, pp. 1571-1576.
- Zbigniew Jaworowski, 1993. "Fallout Studies Show that Marine Chtorine Reaches Stratosphere," 21st Century Science 8 Technology (Spring 1993), pp. 6-7.
- A.Tabazadeh and R.P. Turco, 1993, "Stratospheric Chlorine Injection by Volcanic Eruptions: HCI Scavenging and Implications for Ozone," Science, Vol. 260 (May 21), pp. 1082- 1085.
- W.G. Mankin, M.T. Coffey, and A. Gotdman, 1992. "Airborne Observations of SO2, HCI, and O3 in the Stratospheric Plume of the Pinatubo Volcano in July 1991," Geophysical Research Letters, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Jan. 24), pp. 179-182.
- S. Solomon et al., 1993. "Increased Chlorine Dioxide Over Antarctica Caused by Volcanic Aerosols from Mount Pinatubo," Nature (May 20), pp. 245-248.
- Haroun Tazieff, 1992. Interview aired on Belgian National TV documentary, "Fair Skin, Stay In", Sept. 18.
- For example, unmentioned are Igor J. Eberstein, 1990, "Photodissociation of CI2O2 in the Spring Antarctic Lower Stratosphere," Geophysical Research l.etters, Vol. 17, No. 6 (May 1990), pp. 721-724; Timothy K. Minton, Christine M. Netson, Teresa A. Moore, and Mitchio Okumura, 1992,"Direct Observation of CIO from Chlorine Nitrate Photolysis", Science, Vol. 258 (Nov. 20), pp. 1342-1345.
- S. Fred Singer, 1993. "Ozone Depletion Theory," (Letters), Science, Aug. 27, pp. 1101-1102; also, unpublished communications.
- Hugh Ellsaesser, 1993. Letter of comment to the Environmental Protection Agency, Air Docket No. A-92-13 (April 22, 1993).
- Gordon M.B. Dobson, 1968. "Forty Years' Research on Atmospheric Ozone at Oxford University: A History," Applied Optics, Vol. 7, No. 3 pp. 387-405.
- Marcel Nicolet, 1992. Interview aired on Belgian National TV documentary, "Fair Skin, Stay In," Sept. 18.
- P. Rigaud and B. Leroy, 1990. "Presumptive Evidence for a Low Value of the Total Ozone Content Above Antarctica in September, 1958." Annales Geophysicae, Vol. 8, No. 11, pp. 791-794.
- For more comment on this point, see the Letters section in this issue, pp. 3-4.
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