Scientists using data from the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite have noticed a strong reduction of ozone concentrations over the Arctic. Unusual atmospheric conditions, including freezing temperatures in the stratosphere, have led ozone levels to plummet – causing a ‘mini-hole’ in the ozone layer.

ozone hole

It is known that the ozone layer is a natural protective layer of gas in the stratosphere, which protects life from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun.

The most commonly referenced “ozone hole” is the hole above Antarctica, which forms every year in the fall.

In the past weeks, scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have noticed the unusually strong depletion of ozone over the northern polar regions. Using data from the Tropomi instrument on the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, they were able to monitor this Arctic ozone hole form in the atmosphere.

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 compared to previous years.

Watch a vivid video of what is happening in the atmosphere:

In a scientific assessment of the 2018 ozone depletion, data show that the ozone layer in parts of the stratosphere has recovered at a rate of 1-3% over the decade since 2000 ...

 

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