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The largest hole in the Ozone layer has been healed: announces UN

  • Team PresentMirror | Updated: May 2, 2020, 2:41 p.m.

Earth heals itself in several ways from any changes that may aim to harm her. Recently, the largest ozone layer hole above the arctic has healed totally and it has not much to do with the lockdown which was imposed in various regions of the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on May 1st, has announced it as, “A ‘record-level’ ozone hole over the Arctic, the biggest since 2011, has now closed”.


Speaking to reporters as part of UN briefing in Geneva, WMO spokesperson Clare Nullis, said that the combined factors of ozone depleting substances and cold winter in stratosphere, has depleted the layer that lies between 12 to 50 kms in the atmosphere. "These two factors combined to give a very high level of depletion which was worse than the one we saw in 2011. It's now back to normal again. the ozone hole has closed," Nullis said.

Earlier this month, a large hole in the ozone layer which was more than 1 million square kilometers, was found out by scientists. The low temperature of the North Pole was thought to be the cause behind the hole. Had the hole moved towards south due to air currents, then it must have posed a major threat to the human population. Two services which were intervening on behalf of European commission, namely Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and Copernicus Climate Change Service (CCCS), gave a confirmation message to the world that the hole is completely closed now. They also mentioned that the decrease in pollution due to lockdown is not the major reason for the successful healing of the large ozone hole.

They credited the healing to the recent weak polar vortex. It is mentioned that this year the polar vortex was very powerful and had extreme cold temperatures inside it. These phenomena led to the formation of stratospheric clouds which reacted with the CFC gases and acted as the main cause for the destruction of ozone layer. The weak polar vortex experienced recently has made the ozone layer to heal completely. It is to be noted that the use of CFC gases was banned by the 1987 Montreal Protocol. It is predicted by the Copernicus ECWMF that the polar vortex will be formed again and may create a hole in the ozone in future but to a lesser extent.

It is a frequent phenomenon during austral spring that strong polar vortex forms ozone holes in the Antarctic sky at the south pole since the temperature is quite low during this time of the year. Since, this Ozone hole was mammoth in its size and the largest witnessed till now, almost thrice the size of Greenland, its healing is a big sigh of relief for the human race.

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