Will Media Report Flaw in Manmade Ozone Hole Consensus?

One of the most disgraceful assertions from global warming alarmists such as soon-to-be-Nobel Laureate Al Gore is that a scientific consensus exists concerning man's role in climate change.

Of course, skeptics around the world accurately counter that science isn't accomplished by a show of hands, and that until it can be proven that man is indeed responsible for the slight increase in global average temperatures in the past 100 years, the percentage of people who "feel" that way is totally irrelevant.

With that in mind, a new study published Wednesday in the journal Nature (subscription required) tears apart the "scientific consensus" regarding the cause of a hole in the ozone layer, and should act as a warning to folks claiming that the climate change debate is over, assuming of course the media pay any attention to this paper.

For those interested in science rather than consensus-driven hypotheses, here were some of the paper's astounding findings a global warming obsessed press are guaranteed to withhold from the public (emphasis added throughout, h/t Benny Peiser):

As the world marks 20 years since the introduction of the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, Nature has learned of experimental data that threaten to shatter established theories of ozone chemistry. If the data are right, scientists will have to rethink their understanding of how ozone holes are formed and how that relates to climate change.

Long-lived chloride compounds from anthropogenic emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are the main cause of worrying seasonal ozone losses in both hemispheres. In 1985, researchers discovered a hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic, after atmospheric chloride levels built up. The Montreal Protocol, agreed in 1987 and ratified two years later, stopped the production and consumption of most ozone-destroying chemicals. But many will linger on in the atmosphere for decades to come. How and on what timescales they will break down depend on the molecules' ultraviolet absorption spectrum (the wavelength of light a molecule can absorb), as the energy for the process comes from sunlight. Molecules break down and react at different speeds according to the wavelength available and the temperature, both of which are factored into the protocol.

So Markus Rex, an atmosphere scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute of Polar and Marine Research in Potsdam, Germany, did a double-take when he saw new data for the break-down rate of a crucial molecule, dichlorine peroxide (Cl2O2). The rate of photolysis (light-activated splitting) of this molecule reported by chemists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California1, was extremely low in the wavelengths available in the stratosphere - almost an order of magnitude lower than the currently accepted rate.

"This must have far-reaching consequences," Rex says. "If the measurements are correct we can basically no longer say we understand how ozone holes come into being." What effect the results have on projections of the speed or extent of ozone depletion remains unclear.

As you can imagine, those who have been part of the manmade ozone hole consensus are going to end up scratching their heads when they observe Rex's results. In fact, the Nature article included some views from astonished scientists:

"Our understanding of chloride chemistry has really been blown apart," says John Crowley, an ozone researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.

"Until recently everything looked like it fitted nicely," agrees Neil Harris, an atmosphere scientist who heads the European Ozone Research Coordinating Unit at the University of Cambridge, UK. "Now suddenly it's like a plank has been pulled out of a bridge."

Fascinating, wouldn't you agree? After all, these findings bring into question the conventional wisdom on these ozone holes that has existed for decades. Now, things have radically changed.

Of course, much like such scientific findings in the past, many questions still remain:

Rex thinks that a chemical pathway involving a Cl2O2 isomer - a molecule with the same atoms but a different structure - might be at play. But even if the basic chemical model of ozone destruction is upheld, the temperature dependency of key reactions in the process could be very different - or even opposite - from thought. This could have dramatic consequences for the understanding of links between climate change and ozone loss, Rex says.

Dramatic consequences indeed. And, maybe more importantly, should represent a cautionary modern precedent regarding the dangers inherent in legislating by scientific consensus, for what we hypothesize to be true today might be proven false tomorrow.

Sadly, such a concept used to be a favorite subject matter for muckraking television news programs like "60 Minutes," "Dateline," and "20/20." Yet, given the global warming agenda of media today, it seems a metaphysical certitude that this extraordinary study will go totally ignored outside of the blogosphere and scientific circles.

What a cowardly new world we live where revolutionary scientific findings are kept from the public because they don't support an agenda that folks with a particular political bent are advancing.

How disgraceful.

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.