Ozone Hole over Arctic even as the Antarctic Hole Fills Up

Scientists observed unusual depletion in the ozone layer over the Arctic. Extreme weather and atmospheric conditions are considered to be the main reasons behind the depletion.
Summachar’s Coverage: Ozone Layer Is Healing Itself

Crux of the Matter

Ozone Depleting, This Time Naturally
According to the European Space Agency, this time the formation of the hole over the Arctic is quite unusual in terms of size. Polar vortexes caused by typically cold temperatures in the stratosphere that helped trap a whirlpool of icy wind resulted in the formation of holes in the ozone layer. 

This is the biggest hole in the Ozone layer over the Arctic but is considered to be small in comparison to the holes formed over the Antarctic region. Although the size of the new hole found in the Arctic region is 10 million square kilometers,in comparison the Antarctic Ozone hole is 25 million square kilometers in size.

Scientists using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite have noticed a strong reduction of ozone concentrations over the Arctic. Unusual atmospheric conditions, including freezing temperatures in the stratosphere, have led ozone levels to plummet—causing a ‘mini-hole’ in the ozone layer.

European Space Agency

This layer is quite important to sustain life on earth, as it restricts the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays emitted by the Sun from entering the earth’s atmosphere. Research says that UV rays can cause skin diseases and cancer.

Scientists have estimated that this hole will heal by the month of mid-April 2020.

  • The ozone layer or ozone shield is a region of Earth’s stratosphere that absorbs most of the Sun’s ultraviolet radiation.
  • A major myth is that use of Air Conditioners or Refrigerators is bad for Ozone layers, the said is only true if these appliances don’t work properly and release chemicals like Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) in the environment instead of a confined space.
  • The ozone layer was discovered in 1913 by the French physicists Charles Fabry and Henri Buisson.