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Gas That Causes Ozone Destruction Discovered By the Researchers

Jan 15, 2013 16:26 IST

Researchers at the Universities of York and Leeds in the third week of January 2013 identified a gas from the earlier unknown marine source which led to destruction of ozone over the oceans.

The researchers discovered that most of the ozone-depleting iodine oxide which is observed on the oceans came from earlier unknown marine source. The researchers found out that the source of iodine oxide could be explained by emissions of hypoiodous acid (HOI) together with molecular iodine (I2).

Since 1970s, when the gas called methyl iodide (CH3I) was discovered to be present everywhere in the ocean, it was understood that the presence of the iodine in atmosphere used to crop up primarily from the emissions of organic compounds from the microscopic marine plants called phytoplankton.

The new research is actually linked up with the early study which indicated that reactive iodine and the bromine in atmosphere led to depletion of huge amounts of ozone.
The researchers calculated the gaseous emissions of this inorganic iodine after experimenting with the reaction of iodide with ozone. It was discovered that the reaction of iodide with ozone led to the formation of hypoiodous acid (HOI) together with molecular iodine (I2).With the help of lab models, it was found that the reaction of iodide with ozone on a surface could cause approximately 75 percent of observed iodine oxide levels on the tropical Atlantic Ocean.

More of ozone meant that there will be a creation of more gaseous halogens which would destroy it. It was basically a self-destruction mechanism.

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Read more Current Affairs on: ozone destruction , atmosphere , phytoplankton

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