Ozone hole over Antarctica smallest in last decade
Washington: Satellite images show that the recent ozone hole discovered over Antarctica was the smallest seen in the past decade.
Long-term observations also reveal that Earth`s ozone has been strengthening following international agreements to protect this vital layer of the atmosphere.
According to the ozone sensor on Europe`s MetOp weather satellite, the hole over Antarctica in 2012 was the smallest in the last 10 years.
The instrument continues the long-term monitoring of atmospheric ozone started by its predecessors on the ERS-2 and Envisat satellites.
Since the beginning of the 1980s, an ozone hole has developed over Antarctica during the southern spring - September to November - resulting in a decrease in ozone concentration of up to 70 percent.
Ozone depletion is more extreme in Antarctica than at the North Pole because high wind speeds cause a fast-rotating vortex of cold air, leading to extremely low temperatures.
Under these conditions, human-made chlorofluorocarbons - CFCs - have a stronger effect on the ozone, depleting it and creating the infamous hole.
Over the Arctic, the effect is far less pronounced because the northern hemisphere`s irregular landmasses and mountains normally prevent the build-up of strong circumpolar winds.
Reduced ozone over the southern hemisphere means that people living there are more exposed to cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation.
International agreements on protecting the ozone layer - particularly the Montreal Protocol - have stopped the increase of CFC concentrations, and a drastic fall has been observed since the mid-1990s.
However, the long lifetimes of CFCs in the atmosphere mean it may take until the middle of this century for the stratosphere`s chlorine content to go back to values like those of the 1960s.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Munich attack: 18-year-old German-Iranian gunman kills 9 at shopping mall
- DNA: Why are politicians and media ignoring the patriotic residents of Gurez Valley?
- DNA: Why are politicians and media ignoring the patriotic residents of Gurez Valley? Part II
- DNA: Why are politicians and media ignoring the patriotic residents of Gurez Valley? Part III
- DNA: Analyzing the real problems of patriotic Kashmir's residents
- Indian consulate in Munich puts out advisory
- Chancellor Angela Merkel to convene German security council after Munich shootings: spokesman
- Merkel aide says cannot confirm Munich shooting was terrorism
- US stocks hit new records; weak British data hits pound
- Whirlpool's biggest challenge is rapid changes in global markets: CEO