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CA Strawberry Growers Will Push For More Ozone-Destroying Methyl Bromide

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-08-05 08:21 AM
Original message
CA Strawberry Growers Will Push For More Ozone-Destroying Methyl Bromide
Washington, DC, June 2, 2005: Despite alarming new evidence of severe ozone layer thinning and doubling of childhood skin cancer rates, the California Strawberry Commission will lead efforts to continue massive commercial use of the potent ozone depleting pesticide, methyl bromide, at a global meeting on ozone layer protection later this month.

Because of the threat methyl bromide presents to the ozone layer, the international community agreed to halt its use in the developed world by January 1, 2005, allowing only a narrow exception for uses deemed critical. However, due to intense pressure from the strawberry lobby, the US government is allowing over 4.6 million pounds of methyl bromide to be applied to strawberry fields this year. Its methyl bromide business as usual for the California Strawberry Commission despite a more damaged ozone layer and increased skin cancers for the rest of us, stated Juge Gregg, senior campaigner for the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA).

The strawberry industrys demands to continue widespread use of methyl bromide come at a particularly perilous time for the ozone layer. Last month the scientific journal Nature reported that the biggest ozone losses ever recorded over the Arctic occurred this year and warned that the spectre of an Arctic ozone hole looms. Ozone depleted air created in the Arctic can drift over populated areas in the northern hemisphere and may have profound implications for people living in North America."

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One_Life_To_Give Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-08-05 12:28 PM
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1. Is it necessary?
Yes, the question applies to both. Why must it be Methyl Bromide as opposed to antoher pesticide? And do we really need to eliminate 2300 tons of it to protect the Ozone layer?

We have eliminated how many tons of CFC's from being sent into the atmosphere each year. By changing the refridgeration and electronics manufacturing industries. Reports from a year ago were showing that levels of Stratospheric Ozone had stabilized. And would begin an 80 year rebuilding period IIRC. Were those reports in error?
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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-08-05 01:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Stratospheric ozone destruction has not stabilized
Edited on Wed Jun-08-05 01:25 PM by hatrack
Stratospheric ozone levels over the Arctic and northern hemisphere this spring were the lowest ever recorded.

Since the destruction of O3 is a function of both the presence of CFCs and of temperature, even the putative phaseout of this class of chemicals hasn't had the desired effect.

Since ever-growing amounts of heat are being concentrated in the troposphere by ever-growing amounts of GHGs, temperatures in the stratospheric ozone layer continue to drop, contributing to continued ozone destruction. If the temperature's low enough, smaller amounts of CFCs (i.e. the chlorine they contain) will do the same work that larger amounts would at higher temps.

It's not just the stratosphere, either. Temperatures in the mesosphere (next layer up) are falling rapidly - in fact, they're falling at about ten times the rate predicted by atmospheric scientists.
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jpak Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-08-05 03:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. There is evidence that the concentrations of some ozone-destroying
chemicals are decreasing (or not increasing as rapidly as they did before the Montreal Protocol), and if these trends continue, total column ozone concentrations will recover in the coming decades.

But the trend in total column ozone is still negative at present...

Other trends, like the increase in stratospheric water vapor (from anthropogenic methane emissions - which enhances polar stratospheric cloud formation - a key step in ozone depletion reactions), the decrease in stratospheric temperatures (due to the combined effects of ozone depletion and the greenhouse effect) and increased anthropogenic nitrous oxide emissions (the principal source of ozone destroying NOx to the stratosphere) are wild cards. How these will affect future trends in stratospheric ozone concentrations is uncertain.

Methyl bromide does destroy stratospheric ozone - and more effectively than CFC-derived chlorine...

So, yes, the Chimp's methyl bromide policy is bad news for the ozone layer...
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