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NASA says Antarctic ozone hole area approaches annual maximum

The Antarctic ozone hole, located above the South Pole, expands during every Southern Hemisphere Antarctic spring. 

Updated: Oct 08, 2015, 12:50 PM IST
NASA says Antarctic ozone hole area approaches annual maximum
Image credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Washington: NASA scientists said the Antarctic ozone hole area has reached its annual maximum size.

According to NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientists, the Antarctic ozone hole, which typically reaches its annual peak area between mid-September and early October, formed more slowly this year but quickly expanded to cover a larger area of low ozone values than the past few years.

While the current ozone hole area is large, this area is consistent with scientists’ understanding of ozone depletion chemistry and the colder than average 2015 stratospheric weather conditions, which contribute to ozone depletion, explained NASA in its official website.

The Antarctic ozone hole, located above the South Pole, expands during every Southern Hemisphere Antarctic spring.

Additional information about this year’s ozone hole will be forthcoming in late October.

The ozone hole occurs during the Antarctic spring, from September to early December, as strong westerly winds start to circulate around the continent and create an atmospheric container.

Within this polar vortex, over 50% of the lower stratospheric ozone is destroyed during the Antarctic spring.

Dobson units are a measurement of the concentration of atmospheric ozone.

(Source: NASA)