Ultraviolet rays and ozone holes fall under investigation

Belarusian scientists to contribute to global research of Antarctic

By Leonid Burmistrov

For several years, Belarusian polar researchers have been observing the ozone layer from the ice continent. During their recent expedition, they conducted investigations while travelling in the Academician Fedorov — a scientific research vessel. It was their first ever such expedition. “On the one hand, it’s quite hard to collect and analyse such data but, on the other, we gain the opportunity to process data from our satellite and other sources, uniting it,” explains the Director of the National Scientific-Research Centre of Ozone Layer Monitoring, at the Belarusian State University, Alexander Krasovsky. The Centre is soon to analyse data collected by our polar researchers during their last Antarctic expedition. Belarusian scientists have already published the results of their previous polar studies of the ozone layer in the Russian journal Problems of Arctic and Antarctic. New scientific papers should help Belarusian science take its rightful place in the global study of the ozone layer above the ice continent.

Naturally, such studies are of great interest to global scientific circles, which are keen to gauge how far the damaged ozone layer is restoring itself. “Scientists have already modelled the process of destruction, but restoration is yet to be studied,” notes Mr. Krasovsky. “Interestingly, despite the restoration of the ozone, the average temperature of the stratosphere is falling. This situation needs to be reversed. Greenhouse gases are to blame, with their concentration cooling the stratosphere. Other effects are also possible, with scientists still researching the effects.”

The National Scientific-Research Centre of Ozone Layer Monitoring keeps track of the ozone layer and ultraviolet rays. Using special technologies, it forecasts levels of UV several days ahead, warning us of where danger lies. Information is then sent to the World Ozone and Ultraviolet Radiation Data Centre, in Canada.

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