The latest ever ozone hole has observed over the Arctic in March 2020, since it became obvious last in 2011. The general-known ozone hole develops over the Antarctic in the southern hemisphere each year. By the way, it is a record making ozone hole in the Arctic sky as observed by the meteorologists.


What is 'Ozone Hole' and how does it form ?

In an altitude of about 15 to 35 km. from the earth surface, there is a gaseous envelope consists of Ozone gas (O₃), in the Stratosphere of earth's atmosphere. It is the 'Ozone Layer' as it is generally called. It protects the living species of earth from the threat of solar ultraviolet and others harmful rays.

Antarctic_ozone_hole_October 12,2018
Ozone Hole over the Antarctica Continent during winter in southern hemisphere | Image Courtesy : NASA

Every year in Antarctic winter season, extreme cold temperature occurs the coalescing of the high altitude clouds as well as CFCs gases, which collectively chew away parts of the ozone layer and developes a hole, which is generally know as 'Ozon Hole'.

Why has it formed over the Arctic ?

This year, the 'polar vortex' of the north has been very powerful and the inside temperature was extremely cold as well, which yields the development of high altitude clouds and concentration of ozone depleting gaseous elements. As a result it develops the Arctic ozone hole.

Why is it so rare for the Arctic ?

Generally ozone hole forms over the Antarctic region during the austral spring (from July to September), amid this time, stratosphere remains naturally much frigid. As compared to the north pole, it doesn't fulfill these conditions to this scale for ozone layer depletion. That's why it is so rare for the Arctic region. It is important to note that first ever ozone hole in the Arctic region was observed in 2011 during the month of January, but it was smaller as compared to this year's.

A comparison between the concentration of Arctic stratospheric ozone

How big is this Arctic Ozone Hole ?

This unprecedented Arctic Ozone Hole of 2020 is almost three times to the size of Greenland, as it has never ever recorded before.

This hole was spotted by the meteorologists in late March 2020. But recently Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts) reported that the Ozone Hole has now come to an end. The polar vortex in the north has become weak and split in two which helped the Arctic ozone hole to become washed-out.


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