Southern Hemisphere's ozone hole now bigger than Antarctica

Southern Hemisphere's ozone hole now bigger than Antarctica

European Union (scientists said that the Southern Hemisphere’s ozone hole is larger than normal and is already bigger than the continent of Antarctica, according to a report by ABC News.

The hole appears annually during spring in the Southern Hemisphere and allows more damaging radiation from the sun to reach the Earth. The bigger the hold, the more the damaging radiation that gets in. 

The EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) director Vincent-Henri Peuch said on Thursday that the ozone hole has grown considerably in the last week after an average start.

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The ozone hole is now larger than 75 percent of holes in that stage in the season since 1979, CAMS said in their statement.

“Now our forecasts show that this year's hole has evolved into a rather larger than usual one. The vortex is quite stable and the stratospheric temperatures are even lower than last year. We are looking at a quite big and potentially also deep ozone hole.” Peuch said. 

Peuch also said that 2020’s ozone hole started out slow but turned into one of the long-lasting ones on record. 

The report comes as more and more attention is being paid to severe weather events in the United States and other countries that are seen as related to climate change. The U.S. has seen a particularly bad summer mix of severe fires in the West and floods and heavy rains in the East.

Scientists said that it will likely take until the 2060s or 2070s for the ozone’s depleting substances to completely phase out from the atmosphere.  

The EU signed on to the Montreal Protocol in 1987, which bans ozone-depleting chemicals from being used, the statement noted.