Antarctic Has an Ozone Hole the Size of North America

The Antarctic ozone hole is a region in the Earth's stratosphere above Antarctica where the concentration of ozone is substantially depleted.

The ozone hole is caused by human-produced chemicals, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which break down ozone molecules.  

The ozone hole was first discovered in 1985, and it has been growing larger ever since. In 2023, the ozone hole reached its largest size on record, at an area of 26.4 million square kilometers (10.2 million square miles).


The ozone hole is a serious environmental problem because ozone protects us from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

When UV radiation reaches the Earth's surface, it can cause skin cancer, cataracts, and other health problems. It can also damage plants and ecosystems.

The good news is that the ozone hole is slowly shrinking, thanks to the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that banned the production of CFCs. However, it will still be several decades before the ozone hole fully recovers.


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