The beautiful Aurora may be depleting the Ozone layer: Study

WION Web Team
New DelhiUpdated: Aug 24, 2021, 11:21 PM IST
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The team of scientists observed a moderate geomagnetic storm in 2017 and drew their conclusions

Aurora Borealis is an unforgettable experience for someone who has witnessed it. The free play of colours in the dark night sky is mesmerising to watch. Those who travel to Scandinavian countries do not miss the grand light-show of the nature.

But now it is being said by the scientists that Auroras cause depletion of Ozone layer. A group of scientists led by Prof. Yoshizumi Miyoshi from Nagoya University, Japan, has observed, analysed, and provided greater insight into this phenomenon. The findings are published in the journal Nature`s Scientific Reports

Prof Miyoshi and his team observed a moderate geomagnetic storm over the Scandinavian Peninsula in 2017.

Auroras are formed by interaction between solar electrons and Earth's magnetic field. 

In fact, computer simulations using European Incoherent Scatter (EISCAT) radar data showed that these electrons immediately deplete the local ozone in the mesosphere (by more than 10%) upon hitting it. 

Prof. Miyoshi explains, "Pulsating Aurorae occur almost daily, are spread over large areas, and last for hours. Therefore, the ozone depletion from these events could be significant.

"Speaking of the greater significance of these findings, Prof. Miyoshi continues: "This is only a case study. Further statistical studies are needed to confirm how much ozone destruction occurs in the middle atmosphere because of electron precipitation. After all, the impact of this phenomenon on the climate could potentially impact modern life."

(With inputs from agencies)