Non-scientists often confuse the chemical issues surrounding global warming and greenhouse gases, low-level ozone pollution and the atmospheric ozone hole. Of course, many greenhouse gases are ozone-eaters and greenhouses gases represent a serious low-level problem. However, recent computer modeling now reveals that the ozone hole above Antarctica may itself have a slight warming influence on our planet. The work, carried out by Kevin Grise, a climate scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University in New York City, and colleagues, suggests that shifting wind patterns caused by the ozone hole push clouds farther toward the South Pole, reducing the amount of radiation the clouds reflect and possibly causing a bit of warming rather than cooling. We were surprised this effect happened just by shifting the jet stream and the clouds, explains climate scientist Grise. He adds that this small warming effect could be important for researchers hoping to produce an accurate predictive model of the future climate of the Southern Hemisphere.
'A new hole in the climate model