By Jack Fishman
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Additional resources for Global Alert: The Ozone Pollution Crisis
THE CONCEPT OF GLOBAL CHANGE 49 Finally, there was another event of natural origin that could have had an impact on the ozone trend during this period. In 1982, the EI Chich6n volcano erupted. The eruption was the largest of the decade, releasing enormous amounts of volcanic debris into the stratosphere. comparing the EI Chich6n event with the eruption of Mt. St. Helens in 1980 (see Figure 6). The EI Chich6n eruption put more than 12 megatons of dust and gases into the stratosphere whereas Mt. St.
Aircraft manufacturers, considered building a fleet of supersonic aircraft (SSTs) to fly at altitudes that would take the planes into the lower reaches of the stratosphere. S. De- 43 THE CONCEPT OF GLOBAL CHANGE partment of Transportation formed the Climatic Impact Assessment Program (ClAP). about was the effect of a fleet of SSTs emitting large quantities of water vapor and nitrogen oxides into the lower stratosphere. The potential threat to the ozone layer was thought important enough for the United States to scrap its own plans to develop a fleet of such aircraft.
As more snow falls on top of each successive layer of the compacted snow beneath it, tiny bubbles of air are literally frozen in time. The deeper below the present surface the sample is located, the older the air trapped in that compacted snow must be. Such ice core analyses confirm that CO2 concentrations have increased dramatically since the onset of the Industrial Revolution at the end of the 19th century. Figure 2 shows that preindustrial concentrations of CO2 were 275-285 ppm from records dating back to before 1750.