Mount Pinatubo Aerosols, Chlorofluorocarbons, and Ozone Depletion

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Science  28 Aug 1992:
Vol. 257, Issue 5074, pp. 1239-1242
DOI: 10.1126/science.257.5074.1239


The injection into the stratosphere of large quantities of sulfur during the June 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo (Philippines) and the subsequent formation of sulfate aerosol particles have generated a number of perturbations in the atmosphere with potential effects on the Earth's climate. Changes in the solar and infrared radiation budget caused by the eruption should produce a cooling of the troposphere and a warming of the lower stratosphere. These changes could affect atmospheric circulation. In addition, heterogeneous chemical reactions on the surface of sulfate aerosol particles render the ozone molecules more vulnerable to atmospheric chlorine and hence to man-made chlorofluorocarbons.