Antarctic Ozone Hole Shrinks By Over 4 Million Square Kilometers

First Posted: Jul 01, 2016 09:04 AM EDT

Scientists have found evidence that the Antarctic ozone hole is finally shrinking. It is a sign that it is started to heal. This is due to the phasing out of harmful chemicals 30 years ago.

The study was published in Science on Thursday. It was led by Susan Solomon, Professor of atmospheric and climate science at MIT and other colleagues.

Researchers had compared the September ozone measurements that were collected from balloon data and satellites. This includes the statistical simulations that predict ozone. After 30 years, the team had found evidence of healing in the tarnished Southern hemisphere ozone hole.

In recent years, the scientists discovered that the hole is not overpowering the 12-million square kilometer threshold until, in September, they identified that the hole is shrinking. They believe that the ozone hole had shrunk by more than 4 million square kilometers. They added that hole is not as deep as it used to be.

Ozone has a chemical formula O3 and a pale blue gas with a pungent smell. Its odor is sharp and reminiscent of chlorine. It is composed of three oxygen atoms. It affects life on Earth in either bad or good ways. The ozone layer is significant because it absorbs the ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun. This inhibits most of it from reaching the surface of the earth. The UV radiation is damaging to almost all forms of life. This causes skin cancer, cataract damage and harmful for both plants and animals.


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