Constant cold temperatures and strong circumpolar winds have supported the formation of a larger and deeper Antarctic ozone hole, which will continue into November, NASA and NASA scientists reported Friday.
As of September 20, the ozone hole is 9.6 million square miles (or 24.8 million square kilometers), three times the size of the intercontinental United States. The uppermost of the stratosphere above the South Pole.
This year marks the 12th largest ozone hole in the 40-year satellite record and the 14th lowest ozone reading in instrument measurements using a 33-year-old balloon. Decreasing levels of ozone-depleting chemicals regulated by the Montreal Protocol prevent the hole from becoming as large as it was 20 years ago.
This visualization shows that between September 14 and September 20, the maximum size of the 2020 ozone hole in Antarctica reached 9.6 million square miles.
“We have a long way to go, but this year this breakthrough has made a big difference,” said Paul A. Snyder, chief scientist at Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Newman said. “If chlorine were present in the stratosphere as it was in 2000, this hole would be one million square miles in size.”
What is ozone and why is it important?
Ozone, which contains three oxygen atoms, is very active with other chemicals. In the stratosphere, about 7 to 25 miles from the Earth’s surface, the ozone layer acts like sunscreen, protecting the planet from ultraviolet radiation. Closer to the Earth’s surface, the sun’s ozone, vehicle emissions, and pollution from photochemical reactions and other sources produce harmful fumes in the lower atmosphere.
Represented a drama this year Turnout from 2019, The warmest temperature in the stratosphere and the weakest polar vortex limit the growth of the ozone hole to 6.3 million square miles (16. 4 million square kilometers), the smallest on record.