Scientists have discovered a new possible side effect of global climate change, and while it’s too early to draw any conclusions, this is a significant element that needs to be monitored closely. They discovered that water vapor, when injected into the stratosphere by large thunderstorms, can change stable forms of bromine and chlorine into free radicals that then convert ozone (O3) into normal oxygen gas (O2). Keep in mind that it’s the ozone layer that helps block harmful UV radiation (which causes skin cancer and could also damage the DNA of plants and animals). Climate change is expected to lead to an increase in storm intensity, which is what makes this relevant here. As with anything having to do with this planet’s climate, it’s a complicated issue and needs further study, but I find it interesting as it’s an angle I hadn’t considered before.
You can read more about this over at Phys.org.