From: Lisbeth Bornhofft

From: Lisbeth Bornhofft
Sent: Wednesday, July 28, 2010 10:08 AM
Subject: Ocean Change Clipboard - Are the ozone hole and global warming related?
Are the ozone hole and global warming related?
This question comes up often. Many folks are understandably confused since these are both
environmental issues that are caused by the anthropogenic (resulting from human activities)
release of certain gases.
The ozone hole occurred in the upper level of our atmosphere as a result of the release of gas
(CFCs) from aerosol spray cans and refrigerators. The planet is warming because of the release
of CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels, which result in a thickening of the warming blanket of
greenhouse gases in the lower levels of atmosphere.
This article from the Union of Concerned Scientists describes the subject in greater detail.
How should you address this question with visitors to the Aquarium?
Following is an excellent response from one of our interpreters:
“The ozone hole and global warming are two different things.
We have taken important steps to solve the problem of the ozone hole because scientists
figured out that certain chemicals (called CFCs) were causing it, and many countries from
around the world agreed to replace those chemicals with others that aren’t harmful to the ozone
Global Warming is caused mostly by a thickening blanket of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
The blanket of CO2 gets thicker when people burn fuels such as oil, gas and coal. We can all
help to find solutions to the problems stemming from global warming by finding ways to reduce
our energy use and to switch to energy sources that don’t release CO2 to the atmosphere.
People are good problem solvers when we put our minds to it.”
Lisbeth Bornhofft
Senior Educator, CIG
New England Aquarium
Central Wharf, Boston, MA 02110-3399
Phone: (617) 973-5454
Fax: 617/973-0251