The largest ozone hole ever fixed above the North Pole closed almost as fast as it formed.
A hole formed at the beginning of this year and reached its maximum size in March, about 11 miles above the surface of the Earth.
It was the largest ozone hole ever recorded in the Arctic, breaking the previous record of 2011.
Researchers at the Copernican Atmospheric Monitoring Service believe the hole was caused by an unusually strong polar vortex, which explains its sudden growth, CNN reports.
When the temperature drops to a sufficiently low point, polar stratospheric clouds (PSO) can form, which, in turn, can activate ozone-depleting chemicals in the atmosphere, such as chlorine.
On average, the air temperature over the Arctic is not as low as over Antarctica, and therefore the seasonal occurrence of ozone holes in the north is quite rare, and in the south it has become annual.
Immediately there were suggestions that the rapid disappearance of the ozone hole could have been caused by a drastic reduction in air pollution during the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, but the CAMS team rejected this idea: “COVID19 and related measures have nothing to do with it,” commented Specialists on Twitter.
“This process is caused by an unusually strong and prolonged polar vortex and is not associated with changes in air quality.”
The disappearance of the hole, in their opinion, is the result of the warming of the polar vortex, which subsequently split into two small, separate vortices.
For reference: The ozone hole is a significant drop in the concentration of ozone in the ozone layer of the planet, which inhibits ultraviolet radiation. In the case of a decrease in ozone concentration, harmful radiation can damage people and animals, and radiation also heats the world’s oceans, increasing the mortality of marine creatures and plants.
Ozone holes began to appear regularly as a result of anthropogenic impact (as a result of human activities), including the active use of chlorofluorocarbons, the production of which is prohibited by the Montreal Protocol for the Protection of the Earth’s Ozone Layer.