NASA video reveals huge ozone hole expanding above Antarctica this year.
Cold winters in the Southern Hemisphere and effects of global warming caused the ozone hole to expand to its 13th largest size since 1979. Ozone depletion in the NASA video tracked by three satellites co-operated by NASA with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): Aura, Suomi-NPP, and NOAA-20.
NASA released a video documenting the growth of the ozone hole above Antarctica on October 29. As expected, this year’s vulnerability will close at the end of November at the earliest.
Ozone is a naturally occurring oxygen-containing compound, concentrated in the upper layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. Natural stratospheric ozone forms when ultraviolet radiation from the Sun interacts with oxygen molecules in the atmosphere. As a result, ozone reacts like sunscreen, protecting the Earth’s surface from ultraviolet radiation.
However, chlorine and bromine produced by human activity erode the ozone layer as the Sun rises over Antarctica after a long winter. Radiation from the Sun promotes erosion in that area. The 1987 Montreal Protocol restricts ozone-depleting substances in nearly 50 participating countries, but some countries have not yet complied with the decree.
“This is a big hole in the ozone layer because temperatures are colder than average conditions for 2021. Without the Montreal Protocol, the hole would be much larger,” said Paul Newman, Earth science team leader. at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.
This year’s hole is as large as North America (24.8 million square kilometers). The annual depletion of the ozone layer begins in mid-October. If the Montreal Protocol is not implemented, the hole could widen up to 4 million km.
When countries signed the decree, researchers expected the ozone layer to recover by 2060. But the recovery process is slower than predicted, according to Vincent-Henri Peuch, director of the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service of European Union (EU).
An Khang (Follow Space)