Venting volcanoes

Eruptions release bromine, a chemical that destroys ozone layer

By Roberta Kwok, 09:00 AM June 22, 2012

When volcanoes erupt, they can release ash, chunks of rock and torrents of lava. Now scientists have found that eruptions also can spew massive amounts of a chemical called bromine. This gas helps destroy the ozone layer, a segment of the upper atmosphere that protects life on Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

The researchers made this discovery by studying rocks left over from ancient volcanic eruptions in Central America. The eruptions released enough bromine to leave the ozone ...

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