The Ozone Hole is not closing as fast as models predicted (shown here in 2018)

Admiral Ashray is named for ASHRAE, the American Society of Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers – the folks responsible for the safe manufacture and use of Freon.

Peter Sellers in DR. STRANGELOVE was obsessed with fluoride (a “commie plot”) in the drinking water.  The sub-thread in HELSTAF is “freon in the atmosphere.” Except for this time, the “commies” are for real!

China really is manufacturing the banned Freon-11, per this CNBC report from May 2019.

Freon-11 and Freon-12 are far more damaging to the ozone layer than the modern refrigerants like R-22 (which is no longer manufactured) and R-134 (which is being phased out in 2020). The ozone depletion coefficient for Freon is 1.0.  The coefficient of R-134 is 0.000015, meaning Freon is almost 70,000 times more damaging to ozone than the newest refrigerants.

So manufacturing Freon is very, VERY bad… PBS did a documentary, The Ozone Hole: How We Saved the Planet. (free)

However. Recent studies by NASA and other scientists have shown that the ozone layer is still shrinking (i.e., the ozone hole is getting LARGER, not smaller), contrary to all models – and scientists don’t know why.  One explanation could be, as stated in the screenplay, China is still manufacturing Freon-11.

What are the environmental consequences?

Several alarming reports have been published lately about rapidly increasing ice loss in Antarctica. On February 20, 2020, the highest temperatures ever recorded on the continent were announced, in the 60’s and 70’s.  A week before that, very high water temperatures under the Twaites Glacier (the size of Florida) were reported (by researchers in a submarine) to be unusually high, causing abnormally high glacier melt rates.

With no ozone to block out the extremely dangerous, high-energy radiation from the sun – what happens when Earth gets a mega-dose from a solar superstorm?

The Ozone Hole frequently extends over the tip of South America