Smallest ozone hole in decades

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News:During September and October months of 2019,the ozone hole over the Antarctic has been the smallest observed since 1982.

Facts:

About Ozone:

  • Ozone is made up of three oxygen atoms which occurs naturally in small amounts.It is a part of the stratosphere which extends 10 to 40kms above earth’s surface.
  • Ozone layer acts as a sunscreen by shielding the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation.
  • On the other hand,close to the surface,ozone created as a byproduct of pollution can trigger health problems such as asthma and bronchitis.
  • Ozone-depleting gases like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), HCFCs, halons, destroy this protective shield and causes the hole in the ozone.
  • Each spring over Antarctica,atmospheric ozone is destroyed by chemical processes.This creates the ozone hole which occurs because of special meteorological and chemical conditions that exist in that region.

Why Ozone hole in Antarctica is shrinking?

  • The presence of abnormal weather patterns in the atmosphere over Antarctica is responsible for shrinkage of the ozone hole.
  • In warmer temperatures like in 2019,fewer polar stratospheric clouds were formed which limited the ozone-depletion process.
  • However,the shrinking of the ozone hole is not a sign of a recovery of atmospheric ozone but the result of the temporary warming of Antarctica.