Satellite Indicates 'Mini-Hole' in Arctic Ozone Layer

James Marshall
April 10, 2020

This phenomenon allows high-altitude clouds to form in the stratosphere, and this is where the ozone layer is located. But since about mid-March 2020, scientists using satellite data have been tracking a "mini" Arctic ozone hole. "In this time, we have not witnessed an ozone hole formation of this size over the Arctic".

Abnormally warm over Antarctica half a year ago. Is that a coincidence? The reason this time around seems to be the climate change which the Earth has been bearing for a while now.

Speaking of the latest Arctic hole, Peuch said: "This is a reminder that one should not take the Montreal Protocol measures for granted, and that observations from the ground and from satellites are pivotal to avoid a situation where the chlorine and bromine levels in the stratosphere could increase again".

Here's what scientists do know.

A rare and very large hole has opened up in the ozone layer over the Arctic.

Diego Loyola, from the German Aerospace Center, said: "The ozone hole we observe over the Arctic this year has a maximum extension of less than one million sq km".

Overall, the Arctic's ozone depletion tends to be significantly less than that over Antarctica.

When the polar winter ended and the first sunlight hit, polar winters can see up to four months of night, the atmosphere in months, it triggered a reaction which caused the ozone to deplete.

According to the research, freezing and powerful winds flowing around the North Pole trapped cold air within what is known as the "polar vortex". This is because the polar air mixes with ozone-rich air from lower altitudes.

Scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) noticed the unusually strong depletion of ozone, something which is not usually associated with the Arctic. "However, its size is still small compared to what can usually be observed in the southern hemisphere", the report said.

The ozone layer is basically a shield in the earth's atmosphere which is responsible for absorbing harmful ultraviolet rays that reach the planet.

As per the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion data of 2018, the ozone layer in parts of the stratosphere has recovered at a rate of 1-3 per cent per decade since 2000.

That's why the polar vortex in the Northern Hemisphere is weaker and more perturbed than in the Southern Hemisphere.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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