2019 ozone hole smallest since its discovery

earthsky.org | 10/22/2019 | Eleanor Imster
Click For Photo: https://en.es-static.us/upl/2019/10/2019-ozone-hile-300x169.jpg

This year’s ozone hole over Antartica is the smallest since its discovery in 1982, NASA and NOAA scientists reported yesterday (October 21, 2019). The scientists said that the small size of the ozone hole is thanks to abnormal weather patterns in the upper atmosphere over Antarctica that dramatically limited ozone depletion in September and October.

According to the report, there is no identified connection between the occurrence of these unique patterns and changes in climate.

Year - NASA - NOAA - Hole - Ozone

Every year, NASA and NOAA track the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica as it grows to its annual maximum size during the Southern Hemisphere winter. According to NASA and NOAA satellite measurements, this year’s ozone hole reached its peak extent of 6.3 million square miles (16.4 million square km) on September 8, and then shrank to less than 3.9 million square miles (10 million square km) for the remainder of September and October. During years with normal weather conditions, the ozone hole typically grows to a maximum area of about 8 million square miles (21 million square km) in late September or early October.

Paul A. Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. said in a statement:

News - Ozone - Southern - Hemisphere - Year

It’s great news for ozone in the Southern Hemisphere. 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.

Ozone is a molecule comprised of three oxygen atoms. A layer of ozone high in the atmosphere – about 9 to 18 miles (15 to 30 km) up – surrounds the entire Earth. It protects life on our planet from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

Scientists - Chemicals - Chlorofluorocarbons - CFCs - Thin

In the 1980s, scientists began to realize that ozone-depleting chemicals, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), were creating a thin...
(Excerpt) Read more at: earthsky.org
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