Ozone loss made tropics rainier

Hole over Antarctica changes weather patterns all the way to the equator

1:58pm, April 21, 2011

From high above the South Pole, Earth’s ozone hole can affect rainfall as far away as the tropics, scientists have found.

Thinning ozone causes weather patterns to shift southward across the Southern Hemisphere, bringing more rain to a band that includes eastern Australia and the southwestern Indian Ocean, researchers report online April 21 in Science.

“People thought that the ozone hole, located so high up in the atmosphere over Antarctica, wouldn’t be able to affect climate over low latitudes,” says lead author Sarah Kang, a postdoctoral fellow at Columbia University’s engineering school in New York City. “But it’s like a domino effect.”

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