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ANTARCTIC OZONE HOLE 2017 THE SMALLEST SINCE 1988, BECAUSE OF WARMER AIR IN THE STRATOSPHERE

ANTARCTIC OZONE HOLE 2017 THE SMALLEST SINCE 1988, BECAUSE OF WARMER AIR IN THE STRATOSPHERE

01.12.2017

The size of the 2017 Antarctic Ozone Hole was the smallest on record since 1988, and lasted a few weeks less than the average.

It reached a maximum of 19.7 million km2 on September 11th, 2017, significantly less than the average peak of 26 million km2, and then decreased rapidly.

This size of this year’s ozone hole was influenced by unstable and warmer air circulation in the low stratosphere. A higher temperature minimizes the formation of polar stratospheric clouds, which play an essential role in the chain of reactions leading to the decomposition of ozone in presence of chlorine and bromine.

The 2017 NOAA Ozone Depleting Gas Index (ODGI) presents a continuous decrease since 2002 for the Antarctic atmosphere, and still projects the recovery of the ozone layer to occur around 2070 in the Antarctic and in mid-latitudes around 2045.

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