The hole in the ozone layer is healing, but it has been behaving in an unusual way since 2020. Its opening and closing phases appear to have been completely reversed for a few years, with a new reversal in position in 2023 that will affect sea ice and ocean temperatures.
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(on video) The ozone layer is monitored by satellites The ozone layer protects living beings by absorbing ultraviolet radiation from the sun…
This hole opens and closes every year over Antarctica on a seasonal basis, but it opens and closes with little variation over the years. It typically opens between September and October, reaches its maximum extent in October, and closes in November or December. However, it opens and closes very late for two years. In 2022, it did not close until mid-December after reaching one of its largest areas since 1979. According to the climate monitoring organization Copernicus, there is no reliable explanation for this surprising behavior to date.
The development of a hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica in 2022. © Copernicus
opening very early this summer which will result in
In 2023, on the other hand, the opposite situation occurred: it opened very early, from the first days of August. Leading observers agree on the most likely cause of this early opening: the January 2022 eruption of the Hanga Tonga volcano, which injected massive amounts of water vapor into the atmosphere. This water vapor formed ice crystals at high altitude and destroyed ozone molecules. The results will certainly be reflected in the melting ice in Antarctica as more UV rays reach the continent. But that’s not all, this event is likely to contribute to further warming of the Southern Ocean.
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