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A hole in the ozone layer larger than the entirety of Antarctica in 2021

A hole in the ozone layer larger than the entirety of Antarctica in 2021

The European Space Agency (ESA) said the hole in the fragile ozone layer (O3) that surrounds the planet, which protects animals, plants and humans from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, is getting worse.

This time around, the area of ​​ozone below 200 Dobson’s units (DUs) in Antarctica has reached a much larger proportion than usual and now exceeds the total area of ​​the frozen continent itself.

Scientists have issued warnings about the planet’s climate change scenario for some time. According to NASA, the . program Earth has accumulated an “unprecedented” amount of heat In recent years, scientists have claimed that recently The climate emergency has reached alarming levels.

Each year, as the Southern Hemisphere enters spring, the thickness of the layer, which is usually 275 DU, equal to 2.75 mm, decreases significantly due to the chemical products produced by mankind.

From data collected by the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, the European Space Agency concluded that although this year’s hole is similar to the 2020 hole, which was “one of the largest and deepest in recent years”, it is “more than 75% larger than of holes. in the ozone layer at this point in the season since 1979.”

For Copernican observers, the layer has been slowly recovering in recent years due to a ban on CFCs found in aerosols. These gases were removed after the signing of the so-called Montreal Protocol in 1987, following the consensus of governments around the world.

The decrease in the thickness of the ozone layer, which occurred in the Southern Hemisphere spring between August and October, is mirrored by the warming of the atmosphere, culminating in the overall normalization of gas levels in December.

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Although recovery from the ozone hole is proceeding at a slow pace, in 2018 NASA revealed direct evidence that bans on the chemicals were reducing the destruction of the gas structure. According to experts, the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica could fully recover by 2050.