An interesting letter appeared in the Sheffield Star back in March 2015 arguing the possibly of the Ozone Layer being damaged by decades of Atmospheric Nuclear Bomb tests -until they were banned by an international treaty. They sort of claim you’d think we’d have heard debated for years already. The science sure adds up – something New Zealand based scientists Bill Hartley has researched in depth.
Hartley believes “Starfish Prime”, a upper atmospheric nuclear test by the U/.S that is witnessed in 1962, is partly to blame for the ozone hole.
“The light show was something unearthly and huge. For fun some weeks before, I had read Revelations, so I was shocked to see the moon glowing red in the now pink rays of light expanding from the central ball of golden light.”
He connected the event with the hole in the ozone layer in the 1980s when he read Earth’s Aura – a layman’s guide to the atmosphere in which author Louise B Young discussed the destructive effects atmospheric nuclear testing could have on ozone. “This rang a very loud bell for me in that gradual depletion of ozone by chemical reactions would lead to a generalised thinning of the layer as the pollutants spread throughout the atmosphere, whereas massive nuclear blasts in the upper atmosphere would produce instant holes,” Mr Hartley said.
With the rise of the global warming phenomena everyone was overlooking the probability that the ozone hole was largely involved. Yet they were pointing the finger at fossil fuel burning emissions. After some research Hartley discovered the US tested 331 bombs in the atmosphere, six above the US and the rest above the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean with some in the South Atlantic.
Russia also tested bombs in the atmosphere above their own country. Mr Hartley believed that had produced a hole over the Arctic, which would explain the rapid ice melting in places such as Greenland.
The air had been loaded with industrially used CFCs in the fifties and sixties when the atomic testing took place.
“Thus when the nuclear bombs were detonated the huge amount of light released activated the massive release of chlorine which gobbled up a gigantic hole in the ozone.”
Of course us Greens *know* this has the potential to downplay the ever deepening causes for climate change =- and we accept there may be many factors but we cannot deny humanity’s disrespect for planet earth, by whatever means done are the factors we still have the chance to change – or at least lessen in future.
Hartley didn’t think anything could be done about the hole in the ozone layer but he thought climate scientists should add the piece of information to the puzzle.
Considering catastrophic global climate change is looking inevitable – it’s no comfort to think there’s a chance we’d already screwed up our planetary defense shield way before we even know it’s significance in protection us all from Cosmos rays.
Ironic in a way, the very thing we may have used (the awesome but unforgiving power of radioactivity) – have have lost us the only thing out there safeguarding us all from that same fate, which one way or another could lead to our ultimate extinction.
Don’t forget to duck and cover, and wear sunscreen!
David Joseph Henry