October 23, 2019
The hole in the ozone layer has shrunk to its smallest size since scientists began monitoring it in 1982 because of unusual weather patterns in the upper atmosphere over Antarctica, according to NASA.
The hole fluctuates in size annually and is usually largest during the coldest months in the southern hemisphere, from late September to early October.
The latest observations from space have shown the hole now covers less than 3.9million square miles – a record low and almost half as small as it was during its peak at 6.3million on September 8 only six weeks ago. Experts say the hole is usually around 8 million square miles during this time of year.
Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center said it is ‘great news for ozone in the Southern Hemisphere’.
But he warned: ‘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.’
According to NASA, the ‘main ingredient’ in the ozone-destroying process is are so-called polar stratospheric clouds.
These relatively rare bodies occur high in the stratosphere at altitudes between 49,000–82,000 feet (15,000–25,000 metres) above the surface.
This article was posted: Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 3:20 am