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NASA puzzles out ozone's ups and downs

25 April 2014

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New NASA research on natural ozone cycles suggests ozone levels in the lowest part of Earth's atmosphere probably won't be affected much by projected future strengthening of the circulating winds that transport ozone between Earth's two lowest atmospheric layers.

The finding is good news, since human and plant health are harmed by exposure to ozone near the ground. Significant increases in ozone in Earth's lowest atmospheric layer, the troposphere, would also lead to additional climate warming because ozone is a greenhouse gas.

The research, which studied the natural ups and downs in ozone in the troposphere and stratosphere, increases our ability to reliably predict future changes in ozone in Earth's troposphere. This information is useful for developing effective air quality and climate policies.

Source: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Image credit: NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth - Photo of atmospheric layers from the International Space Station

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