Since the ban on the worst “ozone killers”, the ozone layer over Antarctica is slowly recovering. However, the annual ozone hole is always watched with concern. Now there is new information.
Reading (AP) – The ozone hole that occurs over Antarctica is unusually large this year. The European Union’s Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service announced that it was already larger than the entire continent there.
It wasn’t clear at first if the ozone layer’s recovery would now slow. The ozone layer in the atmosphere protects the Earth from dangerous solar radiation.
The ozone hole is a phenomenon that occurs annually. It reaches its maximum over the Antarctic between mid-September and mid-October, but closes again by December.
Vincent-Henri Buch, head of the atmospheric monitoring service, told dpa that the results were not yet cause for concern. This year’s ozone hole is very similar to last year’s hole, which was one of the deepest and longest since records began in 1979. This year’s hole is already among the 25 percent largest.
Since the banning of the most important ozone-depleting substances in the so-called Montreal Protocol of 1987, the ozone layer over Antarctica, which had been badly damaged up to that point, has slowly begun to recover. However, it is expected that it will take up to 2060 or 2070 for the harmful substances to be completely broken down. The International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is celebrated this Thursday, the anniversary of the conclusion of the Montreal Protocol.
Bush explained that despite the expected recovery of the ozone layer, it is very important to monitor developments closely. This is intended, for example, to detect violations of the Montreal Protocol. The potential effects of climate change should also be noted. Computer models are used in conjunction with satellite images to monitor the ozone hole.
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