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Antarctic Ozone Hole Reaches Size of North America in Annual Peak

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The ozone layer over Antarctica is the size of North America - Image: NASA

Antarctic Ozone Hole Reaches Size of North America in Annual Peak

International Business Times
By Hannah Osbourne
31 October 2014

The Antarctic ozone hole has peaked in size for the year, covering an area the size of North America.

Researchers from Nasa and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said the hole reached 24.1 million square kilometres – slightly bigger than the peak in 2013.

The largest single day ozone hole recorded for the year was 29.9 million square kilometres on 9 September. Experts say this year's recordings are comparable with the previous three years and that it is smaller than the large holes seen between 1998 and 2006.

The Antarctic ozone hole forms and expands in August and September. Since the Montreal Protocol agreement starting in 1987, which regulated ozone depleting substances, levels have declined by about 9% on average.

Findings also showed the minimum thickness of the ozone layer this year was 113 Dobson units – which translates to about one millimetre if the layer was brought down to Earth's surface. In the 1960s, the average was 250-350 Dobson units.

Researchers are now looking to establish if the trend over the last decade is from temperature increases or declines in ozone depleting substances. The ozone layer helps to shield the planet from potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation.

Paul A Newman, chief scientist for atmospheres at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre, said:

"Year-to-year weather variability significantly impacts Antarctica ozone because warmer stratospheric temperatures can reduce ozone depletion. The ozone hole area is smaller than what we saw in the late-1990s and early 2000s, and we know that chlorine levels are decreasing.

"However, we are still uncertain about whether a long-term Antarctic stratospheric temperature warming might be reducing this ozone depletion."



  1. Black is white. White is black. No offense intended, but this story that all us have been taught at school might actually rival Mormonism in credibility. Some scientists tell everyone that the world as we know it would supposedly end without the ozone layer. What proof can these scientists give us? What harm have they reported in these ´danger zones´ that ´lack a proper ozone layer´? Did plant and animal life end in Antarctica? Did it cause ANY reportable deaths of animal or plant life? Does anyone even know how ozone is created? Ozone is created when UV light hits OXYGEN. Ozone has purifying properties, but ozone is NOT what protects this Earth. It is OXYGEN. These so-called scientists mix up cause and effect. Here is what happens: 1) Harmful UV ray moves in the direction of the Earth and enters its stratosphere. 2) Harmful UV ray hits oxygen which in turn reacts to form the naturally highly reactive ozone. In reaction format it is: 3O2 -> 2O3. Ozone is the effect of this reaction, not the cause. As such oxygen is needed or an atmosphere in general for that matter to protect life. Ozone does have great purifying effects, but it is not a matter of life or death. Ozone is continually created when the UV rays from the Sun hit the atmosphere of the Earth and react to form ozone and thereby neutralize otherwise excessive levels of UV rays. Now what this means is that at night there is no ozone layer as ozone is highly reactive and will not last long without the constant bombardment of UV rays from the Sun. The interaction of the Earth and Sun are extremely beneficial and poses no harm. If the Earth would not be hit by UV rays, it would not be able to form ozone and thereby purify the Earth and boost plant growth. So in actuality there is great benefit in this supposed UV ray ´danger´.

    The medical devices that generate ozone in order to kill bacteria, fungi and viruses are sold to hospitals work in the same way. They generate UV light in order to destabilize an oxygen molecule which will then fall apart into two ozone atoms which will then both react with another ozone molecule and thereby form ozone. These medical devices would be harmful too if the air did not contain significant amounts of oxygen.

    In my opinion this accents the dangers of centralising educational programs when its purpose might not be entirely benevolent and the image of the Worshipful Company of Haberdashers says more than words could say:

  2. The nitrogen cycle is also relevant to the formation of oxygen, but it will cause more harm than good if governments meddle in complex cycles without knowing all the details similar to the carbon-dioxide matter. Science can easily become like a religion whereby proof is replaced with belief. People do not have the time to check every fact and thus the word of an ´expert´ is held as gospel. Harmful effects must be clearly noted first before vast sums are spent. The massive floating island of plastic rubbish in the Pacific that is a great problem upon which everyone can agree. The problem is that ´pollution´ has become big business like medicine, banking and energy. Vast sums of money can be extracted from gullible and well meaning people if they or the environment is treated in some way....exploited by people like Al Gore who lives lavishly in his multitude of houses with excessive energy bills, whilst telling poor people with a fraction of his use of natural resources to take better care of the environment.

  3. Those large holes over the poles are totally natural. Our ozone layer is created buy ultraviolet light from the sun hitting oxygen molocules in our atmosphere. Just like the commercial ozone generators that you can buy for your home, the ultraviolet light splits the oxygen molocules (O2) into oxygen atoms. Some of those oxygen atoms (O) combine with oxygen molucules (O2) and form ozone (O3). Since the sun does not shine on the poles for 3 months of the year, during the winter months, the ozone disapates and creates those holes. And since theres no sunlight, there is no need for protection from it.
    This nonsence stems from an earlier atempt at global taxation and is based on lies and false science.


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