Unusually large ozone hole over Arctic almost disappeared

US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — At the beginning of 2020, the ozone layer over the Arctic decreased to the lowest level in the last nine years. The resulting ozone hole in size was significantly inferior to the ozone hole over Antarctica, however, specifically for this region, this phenomenon can be considered anomalous.

Now, according to the observations of the Copernican Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), we can breathe a sigh of relief – the ozone hole has dragged on again.

Claire Nullis, spokeswoman for the World Meteorological Organization, noted that the closure of the ozone hole was not associated with reductions in air pollution due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The depletion of the ozone layer in the Arctic in March this year reached record levels. This is a rare occurrence. The last time it was in 2011. The reason for the incident was a combination of two factors. The first is the continued presence in the atmosphere of substances that deplete the ozone layer, as well as meteorological conditions. This year we had a very cold winter in the stratosphere. Now the situation has returned to normal, and the hole has closed,” Claire Nullis.

In 1987, the Montreal Protocol was signed – a global agreement to ban the production of compounds that deplete the ozone layer of the Earth. The document has been ratified in 196 countries and is considered the most effective international agreement in the field of environmental protection.

According to a 2016 study, the ozone hole area above Antarctica has decreased since 2000 by more than 4,000,000 km 2 . The annual recovery of the ozone layer is approximately 1-3%.

The ozone layer protects the Earth from solar radiation, and ultraviolet radiation is the main cause of melanoma and other skin cancers. Experts from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) believe that implementing the Montreal Protocol will help prevent 2,000,000 cases of skin cancer by 2030.

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