Gross ozone hole over antarctica

Gross ozone hole over antarctica

One of the largest and deepest ozone holes of the past 15 years is located over the antarctic. It has now reached its maximum extent, according to the atmospheric monitoring service (CAMS).

The ozone hole resembles that of 2018, which was also rough, said the head of the organization, vincent-henri peuch. The EU-funded CAMS service is part of the copernicus european earth observation program.

The situation shows the importance of the montreal protocol on banning ozone-depleting substances, says peuch. In the 1987 agreement, numerous countries committed themselves to phasing out the production of such chemicals, especially chlorofluorocarbons (cfcs). Cfcs were in things like cow barriers, spray cans and fire extinguishers.

The ozone layer acts as a filter for ultraviolet rays that cause skin cancer. For decades, a hole in the ozone layer has appeared over the antarctic for several months after the winter, when conditions for ozone depletion prevail.

The phenomenon was discovered in 1985. Scientists hope that the hole in the ozone layer will close completely in the coming decades. Strong fluctuations of the polar vortex and the temperatures in the stratosphere at a height of 15 to 50 kilometers can deplete the ozone layer to varying degrees. The 2019 ozone hole was very small due to special meteorological conditions.

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