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Antarctic Ozone Hole Closes

Antarctic Ozone Hole Closes

  • The Antarctic ozone hole — one of the deepest, largest gap in the ozone layer in the last 40 years — has closed, according to World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
  • According to a report of NASA ,the formation of ozone hole in the Antarctic has been an annual occurrence and has been recorded since 1982.
  • In 2020, the expansion of the hole was driven by a strong, stable and cold polar vortex, which kept the temperature of the ozone layer over Antarctica consistently cold.

Ozone Hole

  • Ozone is a molecule composed of three oxygen atoms. Ozone hole refers to a region in stratosphere where concentration of ozone becomes extremely low. It protects life on our planet from the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
  • An ozone hole is the thinning of the ozone layer boosted in size by colder temperatures.

Formation of Antarctic Ozone Hole

  • The Antarctic ozone hole forms during the Southern Hemisphere’s late winter as the returning sun’s rays start ozone-depleting reactions.
  • Cold winter temperatures persisting into the spring enable the ozone depletion process, which is why the “hole” forms over Antarctica. These reactions involve chemically active forms of chlorine and bromine derived from man-made compounds
  • The size of the ozone hole over Antarctica fluctuates on a regular basis.  When temperatures high up in the stratosphere start to rise in the Southern Hemisphere, the ozone depletion slows, the polar vortex weakens and finally breaks down, and by the end of December ozone levels return to normal.

Effects of Ozone Layer Depletion

  • Ozone layer depletion causes increased UV radiation levels at the Earth’s surface, which is damaging to human health.                          Antarctic Ozone Hole Closes
  • Strong ultraviolet rays may lead to minimal growth, flowering and photosynthesis in plants. The forests also have to bear the harmful effects of the ultraviolet rays.
  • Increases in UVB radiation could affect terrestrial and aquatic biogeochemical cycles, thus altering both sources and sinks of greenhouse and chemically important trace gases

Environment & Biodiversity

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