Ozone hole over Antarctica reduces to smallest ever on record
Abnormal weather patterns in the upper atmosphere over Antarctica led to a dramatic reduction in Ozone hole, NASA scientists reported.
The Ozone layer hole over Antarctica has shrunk to the smallest level since the 1980s in September and October 2019, Scientists have found.
Abnormal weather patterns in the upper atmosphere over Antarctica led to the dramatic reduction, said researchers from space agency NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
The hole has reached the size of less than 10 million square kilometres -- nearly equivalent to the total land area of Canada. This is half the size that was observed just half a decade ago.
Abnormal weather patterns in the upper atmosphere over Antarctica dramatically limited ozone depletion in September and October, resulting in the smallest ozone hole observed since 1982, NASA and NOAA scientists reported today. https://t.co/Qg2F4ELlML pic.twitter.com/O6HLoIURFv— NASA Goddard (@NASAGoddard) October 21, 2019
“It’s great news for ozone in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “But it’s important to recognize that what we’re seeing this year is due to warmer stratospheric temperatures. It’s not a sign that atmospheric ozone is suddenly on a fast track to recovery.”
According to NASA, this is the third time in the past forty years that weather systems have caused warm temperatures that limit ozone depletion. Similar weather patterns had produced small ozone holes in September 1988 and 2002 too.
First observed in the early 1980s, the widening ozone layer hole led to world nations coming together and signing the landmark 1987 Montreal Protocol.
In 2018, scientists, for the first time, reported signs of Ozone layer recovery, along with falling levels of Chlorine in the atmosphere. Chlorine containing substances are the main villains in depleting the layer, which protects us from harmful ultraviolet rays.
“This year, ozonesonde measurements at the South Pole did not show any portions of the atmosphere where ozone was completely depleted,” said atmospheric scientist Bryan Johnson at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory.