The largest ozone hole on record has formed over the South Pole. At the moment, she has already managed to exceed the size of Antarctica. However, scientists said that the inhabitants of the northern hemisphere do not need to worry, since the hole is not located above our heads. By the way, remember how last year everyone was happy that largest ozone hole closed… So, everything returned, and it even got worse.
Why is the ozone hole appearing over Antarctica?
From August to October, the ozone hole over Antarctica increases, reaching a maximum between mid-September and mid-October. After that, high temperatures in the stratosphere begin to rise and ozone depletion slows down. As a result, the polar vortex weakens and collapses, and by the end of December, the ozone level is normalized.
The abnormally large size of the hole over Antarctica in 2020 caused exactly the stable cold polar vortex, which kept the temperature of the ozone layer over Antarctica constantly cold. Therefore, ozone air over Antarctica did not mix with ozone-rich air from high latitudes.
What is the ozone hole and the Montreal Protocol?
The ozone hole is a significant drop in ozone concentration in the planet’s ozone layer, which curbs ultraviolet radiation. In the event of a decrease in ozone concentration, harmful radiation can harm people and animals. Also, radiation heats the world’s oceans, increasing the mortality of sea creatures and plants.
Such holes began to appear regularly as a result of human activities, in particular, the active use and release of substances into the atmosphere that affect the depletion of ozone. Therefore, in 1985, the Montreal Protocol for the Protection of the Earth’s Ozone Layer was developed. It provides for the cessation or limitation of the production of substances that are believed to be the cause of the appearance of ozone holes.