Ground Report | New Delhi: Ozone hole over South Pole; The hole in the ozone layer over the southern hemisphere is larger than usual and already exceeds Antarctica in size, scientists have warned. It currently has 23 million square kilometers.
The Copernicus Monitoring Service Atmosphere of the European Union (EU) said on Thursday that the ozone hole, which appears each year during the spring, grew considerably during the last week after having had an average start.
Ozone depletes and forms a hole over Antarctica in the southern hemisphere spring, which is from August to October. It usually reaches its largest size between mid-September and mid-October, according to Copernicus.
Ozone hole over South Pole
After growing “considerably” last week, the hole is now larger than 75% of ozone holes from previous years at the same stage of the season since 1979 and is now larger than the continent it looms over.
“This year, the ozone hole developed as expected at the beginning of the season,” Vincent-Henri Peuch, director of Copernicus, said in a statement. “Now our forecasts show that this year’s hole has become a bigger one than usual.”
35 kilometers above Earth’s surface
Last year’s hole also started exceptionally in September, but then became “one of the longest-lasting ozone holes in our data record,” according to the Copernicus program. The ozone layer, which is between 14 and 35 kilometers above the Earth’s surface, protects the planet from ultraviolet radiation.
The hole in the southern hemisphere is generally caused by chemicals, such as chlorine and bromine, migrating into the stratosphere, creating catalytic reactions during the Antarctic winter.
Experts say that substances that deplete the ozone layer are not likely to be completely phased out until the 2060s. The monitoring of the ozone hole over the South Pole “must be interpreted with care”, since the size, duration, and ozone concentrations of the same hole are influenced by local winds or meteorology, said the director of the Copernicus Sentinel mission. -5P from ESA, Claus Zehner,
In any case, “we expect the ozone hole over the South Pole to close by 2025,” the expert added. The ozone hole over the South Pole increases in size between August and October, reaching its maximum between mid-September and mid-October.