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The hole in the ozone layer this year is the largest in more than a decade – larger than all of Antarctica

For several decades the hole in the ozone layer at the South Pole it has been one of the great environmental problems. Due to the enormous consequences it has, we have tried to reduce it as much as possible over the last few years. Although the trend shows that we are achieving it, this year is bigger than usual, for more than a decade it was not so big.


The Copernicus satellites of the European Space Station constantly monitor the evolution of the hole and other details of both poles. This year the data they report is worse than usual, the hole is so large that it covers the entire surface of Antarctica and more. As a curiosity, two years ago the smallest hole of all ever recorded was reported.

Such a big hole not seen since 2010

According to historical data, since 2010 the hole in the ozone layer had not been so big At this time of year. With a size of approximately 22 million square kilometers, it is believed that it could grow even more in the coming weeks. The maximum peak usually occurs in late September or early October, with the arrival of spring in the Southern Hemisphere.

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What is this about? There are several factors to consider. One of them is that the ozone layer is going to weaken each year for a long period of time due to air pollution and weather factors. However, we can make the hole as small as possible. Another factor is the climatic conditions of the South Pole area, conditions that this year have not helped to reduce the hole. The polar vortex has been very strong this year and it looks like it will continue to be so.

The use of certain chemicals for decades caused the ozone layer to weaken globally. This means that the ultraviolet radiation is not blocked correctly and consequently the planet warms up. While we have made a drastic change in the use of these chemicals, repairing the layer is going to take decades.

A planet full of holes: How we are able to measure the density of the ozone layer

As a curiosity, last year we saw for the first time a similar ozone hole at the North Pole. Fortunately, it was closed just a few weeks later.

Via | The Guardian