Ozone Hole Is Smallest Since 1988
Higher temperatures over Antarctica this year shrank the hole in the ozone layer to the smallest it’s been since 1988.
The ozone hole is a depletion of (O3) in the stratosphere above Antarctica. The three-oxygen molecule is toxic at ground level, but high in the atmosphere, it deflects dangerous ultraviolet rays from reaching Earth’s surface.
This year on Sept. 11, NASA measured the maximum extent of the hole at 7.6 million square miles (19.6 million square kilometers), 2.5 times the size of the United States.
That was smaller than in 2016, when the maximum extent was 8.9 million square miles (22.2 million square km), also a below-average size. According to NASA, the average maximum extent of the ozone hole since 1991 has hovered at about 10 million square miles (25.8 million square km).
Good news. Things can change for the best. It just takes effort to do so and much time.