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Why This Matters: This is believed to be the largest hole ever to have formed above the Arctic. While a hole in the ozone layer is an annual occurrence in the southern hemisphere (though it is getting smaller in recent years), a hole in the northern hemisphere is quite rare. It is still only 1 million sq km, which is much smaller than the Antarctic hole, which can reach a size of around 20 to 25 million sq km, and this hole will last only about a month as compared with a normal duration of around 3 to 4 months for the Antarctic hole.
Why Do Ozone Holes Form?
According to LiveScience, holes form in the ozone layer, which is a sheet of gas in Earth’s atmosphere that absorbs much of the harmful ultraviolet light emitted by the sun, due to a combination of cold temperatures and pollution. During the winter, clouds form due to the cold and HFCs and CFCs and other chemical pollutants containingchlorine andbromine trigger reactions in these clouds that eat away at the surrounding ozone gas. The Arctic is not as cold as the Antarctic and so it does not typically have the same conditions that trigger ozone depletion there. However, this year powerful winds trapped cold air in a “polar vortex” above the Arctic., which created the colder conditions leading to more high-altitude clouds than normal. That is also the reason why the winter was milder here in the northern hemisphere.
“Arguably, the light bulb is the most transformative invention humans have introduced to this planet. But if light bulbs have a dark side, it’s that they have stolen the night.” Nadia Drake, a contributing writer for national geographic, says that losing our connection to the night sky is one of the world’s great tragedies. But now, […]
In the span of two weeks, two of the world’s richest men blasted off to suborbital space with the intended goal of promoting commercial spaceflight. This past week, Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos took his trip on Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket. This prompted questions about the environmental impact of private space travel. The […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Many of the world’s richest men have been investing heavily into space tourism — SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, and Space Adventures aim to make space travel accessible to all. But the burgeoning private space industry may have some drastic environmental consequences. While space-bound rockets emit less than the aircraft industry, […]
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