A hole in global warming theory

YESTERDAY it was global warming. Now it is global cooling, caused, we are told, by a hole in the ozone layer which has "shielded" Antarctica from the approaching global warming disaster. Only a few years ago, holes in the ozone layer were being blamed for climate damage to the planet and that we should stop using hairspray and fridges. Now, it seems, it's a good thing we carried on using them because of the benign effects of the ozone hole.

Thus, while dramatic TV pictures showed giant blocks of ice melting in the Arctic, little mention was made of temperatures across Antarctica,

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which have not risen over the past 30 years. Indeed, there has been a 10 per cent increase in the amount of sea ice in the area. The official explanation is that the hole in the ozone layer above the continent has altered weather patterns and shielded Antarctica from the impacts of global warming. "For me", says Professor John Turner of the British

Antarctic Survey, "the most astonishing evidence is the way that one man-made environmental impact – the ozone hole – has shielded most of Antarctica from another – global warming." Quite.

The scientists now warn that due to measures to control the gases that damage the ozone layer, the impact of climate change on the continent has only been postponed and that Antarctica will suffer a loss of about a third in sea ice this century. Hairspray, all is forgiven?