Huge Ozone hole forming over North Pole

"Scientists using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite have noticed a strong reduction of ozone concentrations over the Arctic".

Scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) noticed the unusually strong depletion of ozone, something which is not usually associated with the Arctic.

A series of rare events over the Arctic have resulted in a record-sized ozone hole that won't be around for long.

"This is small compared to the Antarctic hole, which can reach a size of around 20 to 25 million sq km with a normal duration of around 3 to 4 months". According to the scientists at the German Aerospace Center, this may be caused by the unusually cold temperatures in the atmosphere, such as the freezing temperatures in the stratosphere.

Regarding this, scientists said that even before this very small holes have been seen above the Arctic region, but this year it is looking much bigger than before. This large depletion of the ozone layer leads to the formation of an "ozone hole" seasonally in Antarctica.

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The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) says that the last time a similar depletion of the ozone layer was observed over the Arctic was in spring 2011. Balloons like this one can carry ozone-measuring sondes that directly sample ozone levels vertically through the atmosphere.

The ozone is critical to sustain life on earth. These chemicals go into the stratosphere and accumulate inside the strong polar vortex that is formed over the Antarctic every winter.

Temperatures in the vortex can fall to below -108 degrees Fahrenheit and polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) can form.

The Arctic stratosphere is usually less isolated than its Antarctic counterpart because the presence of nearby land masses and mountain ranges disturbs the weather patterns more than in the Southern Hemisphere. "At these projected rates, the Northern Hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone is predicted to recover by around 2030, followed by the Southern Hemisphere around 2050, and polar regions by 2060", the report said.

This layer prevents harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun on the surface of the Earth, which can cause many problems like skin cancer. Such a situation helped in trapping polar vortex (a whirlpool of icy wind), which came up as a reason for depleting the ozone layer more than usual.

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