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Ozone hole over Antarctica reaches size of North America but no reason to panic

Climate Change

Ozone hole over Antarctica reaches size of North America but no reason to panic
Posted: November 4, 2014

Left image: NASA and NOAA scientists reveal that the ozone hole over Antarctica spans the size of North America, but there's reason to be optimistic. The hole is not getting bigger.

Photo credit: NASA

Scientists from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) revealed on Oct. 30 that the ozone hole over Antarctica attained its peak size for the year on Sept. 11 and that the size of the hole measured 24.1 million square kilometers or about the size of North America.

While the size of the ozone hole may seem alarming, it actually indicates that the Antarctic ozone hole is not getting any bigger. NASA said that this year's maximum area was virtually identical to the size in 2013, which spanned 24 million square kilometers. It is also comparable to the size recorded in the years 2010 and 2012 but smaller than the biggest ozone hole on Sept. 9, 2000, which reached 29.9 million square kilometers.
"The good news is that our measurements show less thinning of the ozone over the South Pole during the past three years," said Bryan Johnson from NOAA's Earth System Research Laboratory.

 

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