The ozone hole that forms every year in Antarctica is now larger than that recorded in Antarctica, according to scientists from the Copernican Atmospheric Monitoring Service, from European UnionReleased this Thursday (16).
Ozone depletes and forms a crater over Antarctica in the Southern Hemisphere Spring, which runs from August to October. It typically reaches its largest size between mid-September and mid-October, according to Copernicus.
After “significant” growth last week, the hole is now 75% larger than the holes in the ozone layer from previous years, at the same point since 1979, making it larger than the neighboring continent.
“This year, a hole in the ozone layer has been created as expected at the start of the season,” Copernicus director Vincent-Henri Beoch said in a statement.
“Now our predictions show that this year’s hole has developed a little more than usual.”
Last year’s hole began opening in September, but later became “one of the longest ozone holes in our data record,” according to Copernicus.
The ozone layer, located between 14 and 35 kilometers above the Earth, protects the planet from ultraviolet radiation.
The hole in the southern hemisphere is usually caused by chemicals such as chlorine and bromine that migrate into the stratosphere and produce catalytic reactions during the Antarctic winter.
The hole in the ozone layer is connected to Antarctica’s polar vortex, the body of cold air circulating around the Earth.
When stratospheric temperatures begin to rise in late spring, ozone depletion slows, and the polar vortex weakens and finally disintegrates. In December, ozone levels usually return to normal.
Copernicus monitors the ozone layer using computer modeling and satellite observations.
Even with the ozone layer showing signs of recovery, Copernicus says it may not fully recover until 2060 or 2070.
This is because it will take time to see the effects of waste chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which deplete the ozone layer.
The chemicals are regulated under the Montreal Protocol – which was first signed in 1987.
It should be phased out by 2030, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
A study published in Nature in August showed that the world would be at a 2.5°C increase in global temperature and a collapse of the ozone layer if CFCs were not banned under the protocol.
(Text translated from English. Check it out Here the original)
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