Smallest ozone hole in 35 years has closed early

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Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) has revealed that an unusually small ozone hole in the antarctic closed much earlier than in previous years.

According to scientists from the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) who have been monitoring its activity since August,  the smallest Antarctic ozone hole to appear in 35 years made an unusually early disappearance.

CAMS is implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on behalf of the European Union.

The ozone hole forms annually over Antarctica during southern spring, this year it was smaller than average and has now virtually disappeared, according to the CAMS data.

Most years, the ozone hole starts to appear in August, reaching a maximum size in October before finally closing again in late November to December. Its early closure at the beginning of November is unusual.

CAMS scientists noticed that the 2019 ozone hole did not grow as rapidly during late August than in previous years. “A sudden stratospheric warming over Antarctica led to a less stable and warmer polar vortex than usual, resulting in reduced ozone depletion,” explains CAMS Senior Scientist Antje Inness. This made the 2019 ozone hole one of the smallest since the mid-1980s and resulted in an unusually short ozone hole season.

 

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