Record ozone hole over Arctic in March now closed - U.N.

Rodiano Bonacci
Mag 3, 2020

An very big gap that opened up within the ozone layer above the Arctic in March has now closed up once more however United Nations scientists had been eager to level out that it has nothing to do with the Covid-19 pandemic.

Boffins from the UN's World Meteorological Organization said on Friday that the springtime phenomenon was driven by ozone-depleting substances still in the atmosphere, and by a very cold winter in the stratosphere. "It is now again to regular once more ... the ozone gap has closed", spokeswoman Clare Nullis defined at a United Nations briefing in Geneva.

Nullis, asked whether less pollution during the pandemic had played a role, said: "It was completely unrelated to Covid".

The gap in the vital layer, which protects the Earth from harmful radiation from the sun, set a new record for ozone depletion in the northern hemisphere when it formed earlier this month.

"Actually, COVID19 and the associated lockdowns probably had nothing to do with this", a Sunday Twitter post by the Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service reads.

The Montreal Protocol of September 1987, which has been signed by 197 countries, including Canada, the USA and China, is an global treaty meant to protect the ozone layer by banning CFCs.

According to Science Direct, a "polar vortex refers to a region of the winter polar stratosphere characterized by high almost zonal westerly winds and isolation from the rest of stratosphere". Ozone holes are more common over the Antarctic every year, according to CAMS, but "the conditions needed for such strong ozone depletion are not normally found in the Northern Hemisphere".

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