The ozone hole over the South Pole is now bigger than Antarctica

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A map of the ozone hole over the South Pole on September 15 2021

A map of the ozone hole over the South Pole on September 15 2021

Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service/ECMWF

The hole in the ozone layer that forms annually over the South Pole has grown larger than Antarctica in the past week.

Each year between August and October – during the Southern Hemisphere’s spring season – the ozone depletes over the Antarctic region, with the hole reaching a maximum size between mid-September and mid-October.

This year’s hole is now larger than 75 per cent of previous ozone holes at this point in the season since 1979, though it is unclear why it has grown more than usual.

In 2020, the ozone hole reached a peak of about 24 million square kilometres at the start of October, which was relatively larger than the preceding years. At the beginning of this…

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