How scientists helped prevent catastrophic destruction of the ozone layer
Thursday March 29, 4:45 - 6:30 pm at NOAA
4:45-5:15 - Security and Check-in
5:15-5:45 - Exhibits
5:45-6:30 - Discussion / Q&A / Conversation with Panelists
Registration is now CLOSED
Thirty years ago, in an effort to avoid damaging the Earth’s fraying ozone layer, 197 countries adopted the Montreal Protocol. The release of gases from spray cans, refrigerators, fire retardants, and many other industrial applications were reaching high into the stratosphere, where they began to eat away at the ozone layer. That layer protects our planet from cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation—so when it frays or holes form, incoming UV radiation can harm plants and people alike.
In the 1970s and 80s, scientists in Boulder helped identify the chemical and physical processes that maintain the ozone layer. And since then, they have remained critical in efforts to understand the atmospheric impacts of the Montreal Protocol. What has happened to those chemicals that were wearing away at ozone: Have they dropped out of the atmosphere? What’s used in their place, and do those substitute chemicals pose problems? And what about the ozone layer itself—is it still depleted? Is it coming back?
Join us at NOAA for a series of hands-on mini-exhibits and engage in a panel discussion about stratospheric ozone science and history, including policy.
What You’ll Learn:
- Take a look at the kinds of instruments and techniques that helped scientists and decision makers around the world understand just how much trouble our ozone layer was in—and progress that has been made in reducing that threat.
- Learn how high balloons can carry tiny ozone instruments high into the atmosphere—and how they drop back to Earth.
- Talk with scientists involved in modeling Earth’s ozone layer and its dynamics, to better understand not only its past, but its future.
- Hear how the Montreal Protocol—designed to protect our ozone layer—has also protected Earth’s climate.
Sean Davis, a CU Boulder/NOAA atmospheric scientist, will be our EMCEE for the evening. He studies the relationship between climate change and the composition of Earth's stratosphere, and presented the 2017 TEDxBoulder talk “Lessons from the World Avoided.”
- David Fahey directs NOAA's Chemical Sciences Division and serves as a Co-Chair of the Montreal Protocol Scientific Assessment Panel.
- Paul Newman is chief scientist for Earth sciences at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and is also a Co-Chair of the Montreal Protocol Scientific Assessment Panel.
- Michelle Santee is a Research Scientist and Co-Investigator of the Aura satellite mission at the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and is a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Montreal Protocol Scientific Assessment Panel.
- Steve Montzka is an atmospheric chemist with expertise in the chemicals that deplete the ozone layer and contribute to greenhouse warming. He is an elected member of the international Ozone Commission.
Location: NOAA, 325 Broadway - David Skaggs Research Center (DSRC), Boulder, CO 80302
Parking: Parking is limited. Please consider taking the SKIP or DASH buses (RTD) or carpool
Requirements: Must register by Monday, March 26, at 5pm. Please arrive at the Visitor Center with proper identification by 4:45pm for check-in.
Due to security at the NOAA facility, you must register for this event by 5pm March 26. You will need to walk through a metal detector, and if you arrive by car, your car will be searched. Please bring a valid driver’s license, and foreign nationals must present a valid passport or a permanent resident ID ("green card"). More information.
Registration is now CLOSED