Gr. 5-8. Based on observations, interviews with scientists, and firsthand research, Johnson's account details the development of the ozone hole, located above Antarctica, and discusses the continued threat of ozone depletion from the earth's atmosphere. The author also explains why current international efforts to stop ozone destruction are so difficult to implement and will take years to have an effect. Colorful charts and diagrams clarify the chemical processes causing destruction of the ozone layer, and photos show scientists conducting experiments on the earth's coldest and most isolated continent. Although the writing is somewhat uneven and the editing occasionally sloppy ("When the laser beams collide with the icy particles and is reflected back toward earth"), Johnson's explanations of this complex and relevant topic are well supported and understandable. A glossary is appended. Karen Hutt
From Kirkus Reviews
Since the author, a journalist and museum curator, has spent time in Antarctica with research teams investigating the ozone loss above the South Pole, her account of the problem includes some entertaining first-hand vignettes of life at 40 degrees below zero. Meanwhile, she covers the science, history, and prognosis for the ozone layer, with a generous number of color photos and drawings to supplement the clear discussion. The book makes obvious that humans are amazing creatures, both in their ability to foul their world and their ability to discover, analyze, and (maybe) correct problems they cause. By now, it's all but certain that refrigerants and solvents are responsible for introducing chlorine into the stratosphere, breaking down ozone faster than natural processes can replace it and resulting in increased ultraviolet light, which can cause severe heat and gene-mutation damage in plants and animals. But even though the problem is clear, the solution is less so. An impressive, if scary, book, invitingly colorful and well designed. Glossary; index. (Nonfiction. 12+) -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.