November 2, 2020 Written by Guest Contributor
Constant cold temperatures and strong circamolar winds have supported the formation of a larger and deeper Antarctic ozone hole, which will continue into November, NASA and NASA scientists reported Friday.
As of September 20, the ozone hole is 9.6 million square miles (or 24.8 million square kilometers), three times the size of the intercontinental United States. The uppermost of the stratosphere above the South Pole.
This year marks the 12th largest ozone hole in the 40-year satellite record and the 14th lowest ozone reading in instrument measurements using a 33-year-old balloon. Decreasing levels of ozone-depleting chemicals regulated by the Montreal Protocol prevent the hole from becoming as large as it was 20 years ago.
“We have a long way to go, but this year this breakthrough has made a big difference,” said Paul A. Snyder, chief scientist at Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Newman said. “If chlorine were present in the stratosphere as it was in 2000, this hole would be one million square miles in size.”
What is ozone and why is it important?
Ozone, which contains three oxygen atoms, is very active with other chemicals. In the stratosphere, about 7 to 25 miles from the Earth’s surface, the ozone layer acts like sunscreen, protecting the planet from ultraviolet radiation. Closer to the Earth’s surface, the sun’s ozone, vehicle emissions, and pollution from photochemical reactions and other sources produce harmful fumes in the lower atmosphere.
Represented a drama this year Turnout from 2019, The warmest temperature in the stratosphere and the weakest polar vortex limit the growth of the ozone hole to 6.3 million square miles (16. 4 million square kilometers), the smallest on record.
How do NOAA and NASA measure ozone?
NASA and NAA monitor the ozone hole using three complementary instrument methods.
Satellites, including NASA’s URA satellite and NASA’s Suomi National Polar Orbit Partnership satellite, measure the size of the ozone hole from space. The microwave limb sounder of the Ora satellite measures the amount of ozone-depleting chlorine.
The NAAAA staff at the South Pole also carries weather balloons Sondes measuring ozone It samples ozone levels vertically through the atmosphere. When sunlight returns after a long polar night, the ground-based device a Dobson Spectrophotometer.
Brian Johnson, a scientist at NAAA’s Global Monitoring Lab, said on October 1 that ozone levels had dropped to 104 Dobson units. At the end of October, ozone levels can still be measured “close to zero” at altitudes of 8 to 13 miles. The Dobson unit is the basic measure of the total amount of ozone in the atmosphere above a point on the Earth’s surface.
The amount of ozone in the atmosphere is very small. Before the appearance of the ozone hole in the 1970s, the average level of ozone above the South Pole in September and October was 250 to 350 Dobson units. When 300 Dobson units of ozone are reduced to a layer of pure ozone, it is the thickness of two piles stacked one on top of the other.
More about the ozone hole
To learn more about NOAA and NASA’s efforts to monitor ozone and ozone depleting gases, visit:
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