The ozone hole over the South Pole is now bigger than Antarctica

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Ozone depletes and forms a hole over the Antarctic in the spring of the Southern Hemisphere, which occurs from August to October. According to Copernicus, it usually reaches its greatest size between mid-September and mid-October.

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After growing “significantly” over the past week, the hole is now larger than 75% of the ozone holes of previous years in the same phase of the season since 1979 and is now larger than the continent it is hovering over .

“This year, the ozone hole developed as expected at the start of the season,” Copernicus director Vincent-Henri Puch said in a statement.


“Now our forecasts suggest that this year’s hole has become larger than usual.”

Last year’s hole also began unusually in September, but then morphed into “one of the longest-lasting ozone holes in our data record,” according to Copernicus.

The ozone layer, which sits 9 to 22 miles above Earth, protects the planet from ultraviolet radiation.
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Holes in the Southern Hemisphere are usually caused by chemicals, such as chlorine and bromine, migrating into the stratosphere, creating catalytic reactions during the Antarctic winter.

The ozone hole is related to the Antarctic polar vortex, a band of swirling cold air that moves around Earth. When high temperatures begin to rise in the stratosphere in late spring, ozone depletion slows, the polar vortex weakens and eventually breaks up, and by December, ozone levels typically return to normal.

it ends air isolation According to Copernicus and NASA, created by the polar vortex, which forms during the Antarctic winter, enables chemicals such as chlorine and bromine to destroy the ozone layer. Ozone levels usually restore to normal levels by December.

Copernicus monitors the ozone layer using computer modeling and satellite observations, and although the ozone layer is showing signs of improvement, Copernicus says it will not fully recover until the 2060s or 2070s.

This is because it will take time to see the effects of the phasing out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which deplete the ozone layer.
The chemicals were first regulated by the Montreal Protocol – first signed in 1987. They are expected to be phased out by 2030. Environmental Protection Agency.
a study published in Nature The magazine said last month that if CFCs had not been banned by the protocol, the world would have been prepared for an additional 2.5°C rise in global temperatures and a collapse of the ozone layer.

Granthshala’s Alan Kim and Ashley Strickland contributed to this report.


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