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By Richard Wilson

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Another oxygen molecule then picks up one of these atoms to form an ozone molecule. Humans may be destroying the ozone layer Scientists think ozone is being destroyed, and they think people are responsible. For many years humans have been polluting the atmosphere with man-made chemicals. It turns out that some of these chemicals are very good at destroying ozone. The worst of these chemicals are called CFC's, and were used in the past in things like spray cans and cooling devices. The abundance and measurement of ozone levels Ozone is what is known as a trace gas, meaning there is very little of it in the atmosphere.

The eruption of a volcano can also send a large amount of aerosols into the atmosphere in a very short period of time. Aerosols can alter cloud properties Aerosols are very important in the formation of clouds. Often aerosols act as Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN's), around which cloud droplets are formed. Without aerosols in the air, there would be far fewer clouds. Aerosols can also affect the properties of existing clouds. Recent studies have found that in the presence of high amounts of aerosols, clouds will have more droplets than normal, with droplets tending to be smaller than usual.

Over North America, the peak flash density is in the Tampa-Orlando area with 35 flashes per square kilometer per year. Most lightning is in the afternoon This movie shows the location of lightning flashes worldwide over the course of a day, separated by the local time at the place of observation. Most lightning occurs between 1 pm and 6 pm local time. The data come from NASA'a spacebased Optical Transient Detector instrument. Each frame of this 24-hour movie represents global lightning observed during that hour.

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