In recent weeks, the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica has grown significantly. Scientists at the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS) have determined that it is now larger than Antarctica. Copernicus, which is part of the European Union’s space program, made the announcement.
The EAS provides the state of the hole in the stratosphere that forms in the Southern Hemisphere every spring on September 16, and the state of the ozone layer that protects the Earth from the harmful properties of sunlight. September 16 is International Day for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, which commemorates the signing of the Montreal Protocol in 1987 banning major ozone-depleting chemicals (halocarbons). The EU Efficiency Assurance Management System was commissioned by the European Center for Medium Term Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and funded by the European Union.
“This year the ozone hole has developed as expected at the start of the season,” said Vincent-Henri Beuche, Director of the Competence Assurance Management System. “It’s very similar to last year, which was also not entirely exceptional in September, but later in the season it turned into one of the longest ozone gaps in our data records. Now our predictions show that this year’s gap has widened.” The hole is larger than normal. The vortex is quite stable and stratospheric temperatures are lower than last year. We’re looking at a fairly large and possibly deep hole in the ozone layer. “
The Ozone Efficiency Assurance Management System operational monitoring uses computer modeling combined with satellite observations, in a similar way to weather forecasting, to provide a comprehensive three-dimensional picture of the state of the ozone hole.
Since the ban on halocarbons, the ozone layer has shown signs of recovery, but it is a slow process and will take until the 1960s or 1970s for ozone-depleting substances to be completely phased out. “It is essential that monitoring efforts continue to ensure adherence to the Montreal Protocol,” she said.
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