Ozone hole during 7 October 2008 as measured by Envisat.
The ozone hole, starlings in Fair Isle, forest fires
22 November 2011
This week in the Planet Earth Podcast: Richard Hollingham talks to one of the scientists behind the discovery of the ozone hole to find why it's still there; how research on starlings on an island famous for its sweaters could help bird conservationists; and why forest fires in North America affect people thousands of miles away in Europe.
In May 1985, British Antarctic Survey scientists reported large losses of ozone over Antarctica. Governments were galvanised into action and just two years later set up one of the most successful environmental treaties ever – the Montreal Protocol.
Since then, use of the chlorofluorocarbon chemicals (CFCs) that helped make the hole has largely been phased out. Yet the hole is still there. Worse still, ozone losses over the Arctic this year have led some to suggest a hole is now appearing there too.
So what's going on? Richard Hollingham goes to the British Antarctic Survey to meet Jonathan Shanklin, one of the scientists behind the discovery of the Antarctic ozone hole, to find out.
Later on, Sue Nelson finds out why studying starlings on Fair Isle, an island between the Shetlands and the Orkneys, could help conservationists protect all kinds of birds and even mammals.
Click the play button above to listen now.
A full text transcript is available.
Finally, in our latest audio diary, Sarah Moller from the University of York explains why forest fires in North America can affect people's health thousands of miles away in Europe.
If there's a subject you'd like to hear about in the Planet Earth Podcast, don't forget to let us know. Email your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org or if you're on Facebook or Twitter, contact us there – see the links below.
Interesting? Spread the word using the 'share' menu on the top right.