Scientists from Russia, in collaboration with the Davos Physical and Meteorological Observatory, have discovered that powerful magnetic storms can destroy the ozone layer in the polar atmosphere by 25 percent per day.
The information bureau of St. Petersburg University indicates that the height of the ozone layer in the polar atmosphere is 40-90 km.
“We found that during geomagnetic disturbances, the concentration of radicals in the polar atmosphere increases, which leads to the destruction of the ozone layer at the height of the mesosphere during the day,” says Irina Mironova, head of the department of the magnetosphere and the Influence of Atmospheric Active Particles. And the maximum destruction that we recorded , amounted to 14-25 percent at an altitude of about 75 km. That is, magnetic storms can destroy up to a quarter of the ozone on this surface.”
It is noteworthy that the ozone layer, located in the stratosphere at a height of 10-40 km above the earth’s surface, is a gaseous shell that protects the earth from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation emitted by the Sun. When this layer is weakened, the flow of solar radiation increases, which can lead to the death of plants and animals, in addition to the negative impact on humans, since the depletion of the ozone layer increases the risk of skin cancer.
According to researchers, the ozone layer is weak and is always affected by protons, electrons and alpha particles that penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere from its external magnetic field under the influence of the solar wind.
Based on data collected in the Arctic, the researchers developed a mathematical model that takes into account the transmission of solar and infrared radiation, photochemical processes, ion chemistry, and the turbulent vertical movement of gaseous impurities. They also created a model to calculate the temperature and concentration of 43 neutral gases, free electrons and 57 ions in the atmosphere, which are involved in more than 300 different interactions that affect the ozone layer.
According to the researchers, the results obtained can be used to more accurately predict the future ozone layer and the Earth’s climate, as well as to analyze the propagation of radio waves.