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How unusual is the new hole in the ozone layer forming over the Arctic?

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Ozone layer open over the South Pole every year, but holes at the North Pole are much, much rarer.

The Ozone Layer

The ozone layer is a natural protective layer of gas in the stratosphere that shields life from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation, which is associated with skin cancer and cataract as well as environmental issues.

The mini-hole in the ozone layer forming over the arctic

The European Space Agency has revealed a new unusual hole in the ozone layer that has started to form over the Arctic. Scientists using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite has noticed a strong reduction of ozone concentrations over the Arctic. Unusual atmospheric conditions, including freezing temperature in the stratosphere, have led ozone levels to plummet – causing a ‘mini hole’ in the ozone layer.

The hole: larger than conventional

The ‘ozone hole’ most commonly referenced, is the hole over Antarctica, forming each year during autumn. In the past, mini ozone holes have occasionally been spotted over the North Pole, but the depletion over the Arctic this year is much larger as compared to previous years.

The Arctic hole is still a fraction of the size of the Antarctica one. The researchers expect it to close up again by mid-April.