In late March, a hole in the ozone layer over the Arctic was opened due to trapping of air by aberrant winds. Polar vertex is the name of these winds which created high altitude clouds in the area and after mixing with pollutants like bromine and chlorine, these clouds preyed on the ozone gas causing a gigantic hole to open in the ozone belt.
But now reports from the European Union’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) claim that it has finally closed. According to researchers from the European Space Agency (ESA), even though the big ozone holes open frequently and especially in the Autumn, the Northern Hemisphere doesn’t have such conditions. This year, the Article ozone hole formed because the cold air stayed longer than expected. Now that the vortex has split, the ozone rich air can go back to the area above the North Pole for recovery.
Ozone is an important molecule in the atmosphere because it partially blocks harmful ultra-violet radiation from the sun. Some speculated that the lockdown due to the coronavirus may have helped in the recovery. But in response, CAMS tweeted that, “Actually, COVID19 and the associated lockdowns probably had nothing to do with this. It’s been driven by an unusually strong and long-lived polar vortex and isn’t related to air quality changes.”
It can’t be said for sure if this instance suggests a new trend or not. There are many environmental and man-made factors that have influence over it. One of the major reasons for ozone layer destruction and disruption are the chlorofluorocarbons that have been wrecking it for the past century and caused it to have the famous hole in Antarctica during the 1980s. The Antarctic ozone hole will stay the same and there is no such prediction that might indicate towards its complete closure anytime soon.
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The Dynamic and Energetic team Scientia.