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The overworld

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Science  26 Apr 2019:
Vol. 364, Issue 6438, pp. 322-325
DOI: 10.1126/science.364.6438.322

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Summary

Global efforts have reduced the use of pollutants that have damaged the ozone layer that protects the planet from ultraviolet radiation. But scientists have identified a new threat to ozone over the Great Plains of the United States: moist air lifted into the stratosphere by large thunderstorms. Recent data collected by jet and radar have shown that the storms, called overshoots, are more frequent and powerful than expected. Lab studies have clarified how wet and cold conditions accelerate the destruction of ozone. Now, a new NASA mission will probe overshoots and the ozone layer over the United States in the ER-2, a high-altitude research jet.