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Russian Scientist Says Ozone Layer Hole Close to Maximum Size But May Recover

© Sputnik / Alina PolyaninaAntarctic ozone hole
Antarctic ozone hole - Sputnik International, 1920, 16.09.2021
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Despite the grim anticipation of an enlargement of the hole in the ozone layer above the southern hemisphere in 2021, a recovery forecast predicts noticeable improvement after 2024, a leading researcher at the Russian Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory, Andrei Kiselev, told Sputnik, commenting on a recent EU study.
The European Union's earth observation programme, Copernicus, released a study on the size of the hole in the ozone layer, according to which the hole is growing rapidly and will reach its maximum size by mid-October.

"The fact itself is not very pleasant, but a very large hole was also recorded in 2020. Each year we witness a stable and powerful circumpolar vortex over Antarctica. The larger such a vortex, the more dangerous it is. It creates special clouds that add another factor of ozone layer destruction", Kiselev said.

The scientist also noted that over time, humanity would be able to witness a restoration of the ozone layer.

"The forecast said that until 2024 it would be imperceptible, whether the ozone layer is decreasing or not, and after 2024 the restoration of the layer would be statistically noticeable", the scientist added.

In 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed 16 September International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer to commemorate the date the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed in 1987. A dramatic decrease in the concentration of stratospheric ozone, the "ozone hole", was first discovered over Antarctica in the 1980s.
These days experts believe that the depletion of ozone (triatomic oxygen molecules) is caused by exposure to chlorofluorocarbons, better known as freons. According to the UN environmental agency UNEP forecast, the ozone hole over the northern hemisphere will completely disappear by 2030, and the one over the southern hemisphere by the middle of the century.
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