The hole in the ozone layer, which forms annually over the South Pole, over the past week has become larger than the whole of Antarctica. Scientists cannot say why it reached this size, according to New Scientist.
In 2020, the ozone hole reached its maximum size of about 24 million square kilometers, which is also above average, and only closed at the end of December. .
At the beginning of the 2021 season, a new hole began to form over Antarctica. At first, it developed in accordance with the forecasts of scientists and was not supposed to exceed the average width, but over the past two weeks it began to increase sharply.
The ozone layer is located at an altitude of 11-40 km above the Earth's surface, in the stratosphere, and protects the planet from ultraviolet radiation. The spring sun causes ozone-depleting reactions, in which chemically active forms of chlorine and bromine are involved, so the layer becomes thinner.
In recent years, the ozone layer has begun to gradually recover, and the width of the ozone holes did not exceed 20 square kilometers, but in 2020 This trend changed in 2021.
However, according to meteorologists, the formation of a very large hole does not mean that the restoration process has been disrupted. The state of the atmosphere changes every year. The holes are predicted to heal only by 2060-2070.