US News: Ozone hole at its smallest due to abnormal weather patterns - - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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US News Ozone hole at its smallest due to abnormal weather patterns

14:50  22 october  2019
14:50  22 october  2019 Source:   news.sky.com

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Warmer temperatures globally and abnormal weather patterns over Antarctica have seen the depletion of ozone halt this year with the ozone hole at its smallest ever size The hole in the ozone has shrunk to its smallest size since records began due to higher antarctic temperatures finds NASA.

This year, the hole was smaller than ex Every year, NASA and NOAA track the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica as it grows to its annual winter maximum. This year, the hole was smaller than expected, due to an unusual weather pattern in the stratosphere.

a close up of a snow covered mountain: The ozone hole above the Antarctic is at its smallest since records began © Getty The ozone hole above the Antarctic is at its smallest since records began

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The hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica has shrunk to its smallest since it was first discovered in the 1980s due to abnormal weather patterns, according to NASA.

Roughly seven to 25 miles above Earth's surface, the ozone layer shields the planet from potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin cancer and cataracts, suppress immune systems and also damage plants.

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Abnormally warm temperatures in the stratosphere over Antarctica dramatically limited ozone loss in September and October, resulting in the smallest ozone hole observed Similar weather patterns in the Antarctic stratosphere in September 1988 and 2002 also produced atypically small ozone holes .

Unusual weather patterns in the upper atmosphere over Antarctica have caused a drastic reduction in ozone depletion, leaving the ozone with the smallest hole seen since its discovery in 1982, according to NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The government agencies said

The Antarctic ozone hole is at its smallest since records began. Pic: NASA © Press Release The Antarctic ozone hole is at its smallest since records began. Pic: NASA

Back in 2001, scientists at NASA said they located the largest ozone hole ever recorded, covering 11.5 million square miles over Antarctica - although this size hasn't been reached since.

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At its peak this year, the annual ozone hole reached just 6.3 million square miles on 8 September, before shrinking to less than 3.9 million square miles for the remainder of September and October - although this was due to weird weather conditions rather than human attempts to control CFCs.

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21 (UPI) -- The ozone hole is the smallest its been since scientists first began monitoring the human-caused Weather systems near the South Pole triggered an influx of warm air into the stratosphere during " It ' s important to recognize that what we're seeing this year is due to warmer stratospheric

Scientists sounded the alarm on the ozone hole in the '80s, warning about the loss of what NASA describes as an atmospheric version of sunscreen. The difference this year was due to unusual warm weather patterns that kept the hole in check. "There is no identified connection between these

"It's great news for ozone in the Southern Hemisphere," said Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA.

"But 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."

"The Antarctic ozone hole forms during the southern hemisphere's late winter as the returning sun's rays start ozone-depleting reactions.

"These reactions involve chemically active forms of chlorine and bromine derived from manmade compounds," the space agency's scientists explained.

"The chemistry that leads to their formation involves chemical reactions that occur on the surfaces of cloud particles that form in cold stratospheric layers, leading ultimately to runaway reactions that destroy ozone molecules.

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The Antarctic ozone hole hit its smallest annual peak on record since tracking began in 1982, NOAA and NASA announced Monday. Although we’re making progress in cutting down on the use of ozone -depleting chemicals, the milestone doesn’t mean we’ve solved the problem yet, the agencies

Each year, the hole reaches its peak in September and begins to shrink after mid-September. This year, the hole grew to 7.6 million square miles. The hole that hovers over Antarctica has been slowly recovering, scientists say, due to an international ban on harmful chemicals that were previously used

"In warmer temperatures fewer polar stratospheric clouds form and they don't persist as long, limiting the ozone-depletion process," NASA explained.

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According to NASA and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in Colorado this is the third time in the last 40 years that warm temperatures have limited ozone depletion.

Susan Strahan, an atmospheric scientist as NASA, said: "It's a rare event that we're still trying to understand. If the warming hadn't happened, we'd likely be looking at a much more typical ozone hole."

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