Ozone Hole ‘Returning with a Vengeance’

A year after scientists reported a shrinking of the hole in the
Ozone layer over Antarctica, recent reports indicate it’s
‘returning with a vengeance.’ Observations reported at the British
Association science festival at Salford University last week
indicate that the hole is now larger than it’s ever been, reports
Clive Cookson in London’s Financial Times.

This comes as a surprise, given last year’s report that the hole
was smaller than it had been in a decade. According to Alan Rodger,
who runs the British Antarctic Survey ozone-monitoring program,
‘Last year’s smaller hole should be regarded as an exceptional and
clearly a one-off event’ having ‘nothing to do with any reduction
in ozone-depleting chemicals.’

As a result of the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement
to phase out the use of CFCs and related compounds, the presence of
ozone-depleting chemicals has subsided since 1994. But the levels
of these chemicals in the stratosphere ‘lag behind the surface by
several years.’ Rogers predicts that, as a result, it will take ‘a
decade or more before we can say unambiguously that the ozone hole
is recovering — assuming that the decline in ozone depleting
chemicals continues.’

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Ozone Hole is Bigger Than it’s Ever Been

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