The Antarctic atmosphere: A hot topic in a cold cauldron
In recent years, Man has become increasingly aware of the damage that he is doing to the Earth's atmospheric environment. There are two separate-but interrelated-effects, namely the greenhouse effect due to increasing amounts of infrared active, molecular gases in the atmosphere, and the depletion of stratospheric ozone by freons (or chlorofluorocarbons, CFCs). In both effects the Antarctic atmosphere is critical. Attention is focussed here on the properties of the springtime Antarctic ozone depletion, and on the interrelationship of atmospheric dynamics, radiation and chemistry that can explain these. Some consequences of the ozone hole are considered. Finally, some steps that governments might take to alleviate the problem are mentioned.