The ozone hole has exceeded the size of Antarctica

The hole in the ozone layer at the earth’s south pole is growing again. Its size over Antarctica exceeded the area of ​​Antarctica itself. The ozone hole appears annually in the Southern Hemisphere. In 2020, it was insignificant at the initial stage, but just like in 2021, it lasted much longer than usual, noted in the European Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS).

For the history of observing ozone holes since 1979, the current one is much longer than usual, noted the head of CAMS Vincent-Henri Pesch. It already exceeds three-quarters of those observed in size. Potentially, according to forecasts of scientists, the ozone hole may still grow in the next two to three weeks, although the anomaly is still stable, and the temperature in the stratosphere is even lower than usual, Interfax reports.

In 2020, the hole grew rapidly from mid-August to September 20. Then the maximum area of ​​the ozone hole reached 24.8 million square kilometers. The previous ozone hole over Antarctica healed at the end of December 2020.

The ozone layer is 10 to 40 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. It absorbs solar radiation while protecting against ultraviolet radiation. Holes in the ozone layer are dangerous due to the possibility of penetration of ultraviolet radiation of greater intensity.

Ozone in the atmosphere declined rapidly in the 1980s due to the high concentration of chlorofluorocarbons. The use of ozone-depleting substances is strictly regulated by the Montreal Protocol. The Protocol and the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer have succeeded in reducing emissions of chlorofluorocarbons by 90%. But experts believe that despite the restoration of the ozone layer, these substances will be in the earth’s atmosphere in significant volumes until at least 2060-2070.

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