Scientists from European Space Agency (ESA) recently came across to what could be the largest hole in the Ozone layer to have recorded over North Pole. Roughly, the Ozone hole occupies an area nearly three times the size of Greenland, they said in a statement.
If it grows larger, the Ozone hole may expose those living in northern latitudes high levels of ultraviolet radiation. Scientists however believe that the hole fortunately seems to close on its own in few days. Holes are firmed in the Ozone layer, a sheet in the Earth’s atmosphere. Every year it absorbs the ultraviolet light, that is emitted by the sun, because of changes in the cloud cover.
It may be noted that Ozone holes over Artic are very rare. It was in 2011, the Arctic Ozone hole opened last time. According to researchers, at the time the hole was significantly smaller then what is seen now.
Speaking to Nature, Martin Dameris, an atmospheric scientist at the German Aerospace Center said, “From my point of view, this is the first time you can speak about a real ozone hole in the Arctic.”
Researchers believe that as the sun is moving higher over the Arctic slowly, the temperature has started to increase, suggesting that conditions in the Ozone may change soon. In case the hole continues to expand in the southern direction, residents will require to apply sunscreen to avoid any ultraviolet damage.
Even as the hole has begun to reduce in size, the Antarctic ozone hole will remain a seasonal feature, as it has been for last four decades. In 2018, a study by the World Meteorological Organization, found that the southern ozone hole has been shrinking in size by 1% to 3% per decade since 2000. The hole in 2019 measured smaller than what it was in 1982.
The southern ozone hole has been shrinking largely because of a global ban on ozone-depleting chemicals initiated since 1987. However, some countries are yet to take part in it.