comscore Hole in Earth’s ozone larger than Antarctica, scientists say | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Hole in Earth’s ozone larger than Antarctica, scientists say

  • EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY, ESA VIA AP
                                This image, provided on Thursday, Sept. 16, by the European Space Agency (ESA) shows a map of the ozone hole over the South Pole. Scientists say the Southern Hemisphere ozone hole is larger than usual and already surpasses the size of Antarctica.

    EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY, ESA VIA AP

    This image, provided on Thursday, Sept. 16, by the European Space Agency (ESA) shows a map of the ozone hole over the South Pole. Scientists say the Southern Hemisphere ozone hole is larger than usual and already surpasses the size of Antarctica.

BERLIN >> Scientists say the hole in the Earth’s protective ozone layer over the Southern Hemisphere is larger than usual this year and already surpasses the size of Antarctica.

The European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service said Thursday that the so-called ozone hole, which appears every year during the Southern Hemisphere spring, has grown considerably in the past week following an average start.

“Forecasts show that this year´s hole has evolved into a rather larger than usual one,” said Vincent-Henri Peuch, who heads the EU’s satellite monitoring service.

“We are looking at a quite big and potentially also deep ozone hole,” he said.

Atmospheric ozone absorbs ultraviolet light coming from the sun. Its absence means more of this high-energy radiation reaches the Earth, where it can harm living cells.

Peuch noted that last year’s ozone hole also started out unremarkably but then turned into one of the longest-lasting ones on record.

The Montreal Protocol, signed in 1987, led to a ban on a group of chemicals called halocarbons that were blamed for exacerbating the annual ozone hole.

Experts say that while the ozone layer is beginning to recover, it’s likely to take until the 2060s for the ozone-depleting substances used in refrigerants and spray cans to completely disappear from the atmosphere.

Comments (4)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up