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Warm air helped make 2017 ozone hole smallest since 1988

02 November 2017

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Measurements from satellites this year showed the hole in Earth's ozone layer that forms over Antarctica each September was the smallest observed since 1988, scientists from NASA and NOAA announced.

According to NASA, the ozone hole reached its peak extent on 11 September, covering an area about two and a half times the size of the United States - 7.6 million square miles in extent - and then declined through the remainder of September and into October. NOAA ground- and balloon-based measurements also showed the least amount of ozone depletion above the continent during the peak of the ozone depletion cycle since 1988. NOAA and NASA collaborate to monitor the growth and recovery of the ozone hole every year.

"The Antarctic ozone hole was exceptionally weak this year," said Paul A. Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "This is what we would expect to see given the weather conditions in the Antarctic stratosphere."

Source: NASA

Image credit: NASA/NASA Ozone Watch/Katy Mersmann - Map of the ozone hole

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