The Ozone Hole - Smaller than when it Was Discovered
This year, the ozone hole near the South Pole is smaller than when it was discovered, This, however, is due to the Antarctic weather being whimsical rather than the effort to reduce pollution, the AP reported, citing NASA.
"It's just a fluke of the weather," said University of Colorado atmospheric scientist Brian Toon.
This fall, the average hole size in the Earth's ozone layer is 9.3 million square kilometres - smaller than when it was discovered in 1985. In comparison, the hole was the largest in 2006 - 26.6 million sq. km.
"That's really good news," NASA scientist Paul Newman said Tuesday. "That means more ozone over the hemisphere, less ultraviolet radiation at the surface."
Earth's ozone layer shields life on the surface from harmful solar radiation, but man-made chlorine compounds that can last in the air for 100 years nibble at the ozone, creating thinning and a gap over the Southern Hemisphere, NBC News reported.