HARMFUL GASES HELP SCIENTISTS

  TRACE OCEAN CURRENTS


Man made gases that may be harmful and even deadly to human and plant life are proving to be a boon to oceanographers trying to determine how water circulates in the world’s oceans.


When chlorofluorocarbons---manufactured to be used both in refrigerators and in aerosol cans enter the upper atmosphere, they trigger a chain reaction that just depletes the ozone layer, the protective shield that prevents the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays from reaching earth. The gases also fall into the oceans, where, because they do not occur naturally, they are easy to trace.


By simply following the gases as they move through the oceans, scientists working on a National Science Foundation project will be able to construct a very accurate model of how ocean circulation works.



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