2020 Weather Patterns Push Antarctic Ozone Hole to 12th Largest on Record

  • Released Friday, October 30, 2020
  • Updated Monday, November 2, 2020 at 9:08AM
  • ID: 13752

A cold and stable Antarctic vortex supported the development of the 12th largest ozone hole on record in 2020. The hole reached its peak extent on September 20th at 24.8 million square kilometers.

Ozone-depleting compounds – CFCs – persist in the atmosphere for many decades, interacting with ozone molecules when conditions are favorable. CFCs were controlled by the Montreal Protocol in 1987. Overall, the ozone layer is recovering and we expect the hole to heal by the 2070s.

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Ozone-depleting compounds released by humans cause the ozone hole, but cold weather and strong winds drove a larger than average 2020 ozone hole -- the 12th largest in our 40-year record.


Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center


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