Ozone hole smaller in 2009 than 2008: WMO

Sep 16, 2009
NASA image of the planet Earth. The World Meteorological Organisation said that the ozone hole is expected to be smaller in 2009 than a year ago.

The World Meteorological Organisation said Wednesday that the ozone hole is expected to be smaller in 2009 than a year ago.

"The meteorological conditions observed so far could indicate that the 2009 hole will be smaller than those of 2006 and 2008 and close to that of 2007," said the UN agency in a statement.

The hole in the layer over the Antarctic was discovered in the 1980s. It regularly tends to form in August, reaching a maximum size late September or early October before it fills again in December.

The size is dependent on weather conditions.

This year the hole began forming "earlier than before" said WMO's expert on the ozone Geir Braathen.

On September 16, it stood at 24 million square kilometers, he said.

In 2008, the maximum reached was 27 million square km while in 2007, the maximum was 25 million square km.

Experts have warned that the damage to the , which shields the Earth from harmful ultra-violet rays, is so bad that it will only attain full recovery in 2075.

Ozone provides a natural protective filter against harmful ultra-violet rays from the sun, which can cause sunburn, cataracts and as well as damage vegetation.

Its depletion is caused by extreme cold at high altitude and a particular type of pollution, from chemicals often used in refrigeration, some plastic foams, or aerosol sprays, which have accumulated in the atmosphere.

Most of these chemicals, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), are being phased out under the 1987 Montreal Protocol, but they linger in the atmosphere for many years.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Huge waves measured for first time in Arctic Ocean

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

2008 ozone hole larger than last year

Oct 07, 2008

The 2008 ozone hole – a thinning in the ozone layer over Antarctica – is larger both in size and ozone loss than 2007 but is not as large as 2006.

AURA satellite peers into Earth's ozone hole

Dec 07, 2005

NASA researchers, using data from the agency's AURA satellite, determined the seasonal ozone hole that developed over Antarctica this year is smaller than in previous years.

Antarctic ozone - not a hole lot worse or better

Nov 10, 2005

The Antarctic ozone hole this year was the fourth largest to be recorded since measurements of ozone depletion began in 1979. CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research's expert in ozone depletion, Dr Paul Fraser, says while the ...

NASA scientists reveal latest information on ozone hole

Sep 28, 2006

In 1987, the United States joined several other nations in signing the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to protect the Earth's ozone layer by phasing out the production of a number of substances ...

Study Finds Clock Ticking Slower On Ozone Hole Recovery

Jun 30, 2006

The Antarctic ozone hole's recovery is running late. According to a new NASA study, the full return of the protective ozone over the South Pole will take nearly 20 years longer than scientists previously expected.

Record cold winter may increase ozone hole over North Europe

Jan 31, 2005

European scientists confirmed that Arctic high atmosphere is reaching the lowest ever temperatures this winter, warning that destruction of the protective ozone layer is substantially increased under very cold conditions. First si ...

Recommended for you

Huge waves measured for first time in Arctic Ocean

1 hour ago

As the climate warms and sea ice retreats, the North is changing. An ice-covered expanse now has a season of increasingly open water which is predicted to extend across the whole Arctic Ocean before the middle ...

New research reveals Pele is powerful, even in the sky

6 hours ago

One might assume that a tropical storm moving through volcanic smog (vog) would sweep up the tainted air and march on, unchanged. However, a recent study from atmospheric scientists at the University of Hawai'i ...

Image: Wildfires continue near Yellowknife, Canada

7 hours ago

The wildfires that have been plaguing the Northern Territories in Canada and have sent smoke drifting down to the Great Lakes in the U.S. continue on. NASA's Aqua satellite collected this natural-color image ...

Excavated ship traced to Colonial-era Philadelphia

8 hours ago

Four years ago this month, archeologists monitoring the excavation of the former World Trade Center site uncovered a ghostly surprise: the bones of an ancient sailing ship. Tree-ring scientists at Columbia ...

User comments : 0