Russ and Larry of Chicago asked: Why can’t we use bad ozone from pollution to replenish the thinning ozone layer? (originally published Nov. 8, 1988, republished today, July 30, 2012).
Cecil points out that the stratospheric ozone layer blocks solar UV, which might otherwise incinerate us all.
But he also points out that, for meteorological reasons, the “ozone hole” over Antarctica is located where it is (say, rather than over L. A.) for a reason. This seems to say that, even as global pollution gets worse (or whatever causes that ozone hole), it’s going to stay over Antarctica, rather than grow and spread out over the populated areas of the world.
So if the ozone hole is stuck over Antarctica, why is it such a problem? Is there some reason we need to care about excess UV there? Will it incinerate the penguins? Will it incinerate the ice sheet and drown the rest of us?