The first ozone hole has appeared over the Arctic


The first ozone hole has appeared over the Arctic

The cause of the ozone hole is not Freons, as in Antarctica, but global climate change.

This year huge masses of icy air have accumulated in the Arctic, trapped by high-altitude vortices. There was even more icy air than in the record cold winter of 1979. For this reason, the ozone layer began to collapse and the depleted area three times exceeded the entire territory of Greenland. In the second half of March, the ozone content at an altitude of 18 kilometres decreased by 90 percent: to 0.3 parts per million instead of the standard 3.5 parts.

According to Martin Dameris of the German Aerospace Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, this case can be called the first appearance of a real ozone hole above the North Pole.

While this ozone hole is not very dangerous to local life, because the sun is just beginning to rise high above the polar horizon and the radiation is not very strong yet. However, the further development of the situation will depend on its behaviour in the next few weeks. That hole may shift to low inhabited latitudes.

At the same time, the recovery of the ozone layer due to warming and the withdrawal of the cold air masses may also begin. All this should lead to the decrease of the ozone hole.


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