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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.
Have you ever wondered what space smells like? Now we know. According to astronauts, it is “a mix of gunpowder, seared steak, raspberries and rum.” Hmmm. CNN reports that the fragrance was invented to help astronauts train for space — so that nothing about it would be surprising to them (seems like that would take […]
Using inexpensive tracking technology and a large antenna installed on the International Space Station, a consortium of researchers is hoping to gather a wider range of data than they had using previous tracking technologies, including long migration patterns, allowing them to better understand how climate change and habitat loss impact wildlife.
Why This Matters: In addition to better understanding of wildlife migration and threats, the technology could be used for a range of other goals.
Elon Musk’s company Space X is behind the latest NASA chapter, in which the Dragon Capsule launched by the Falcon 9 rocket will deliver astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley in style (wearing Tesla emblazoned custom-made Space X pressure suits) to the international space station – liftoff is set for today 4:33 pm ET.
Why This Matters: When it comes to the future, for better or worse, we are in Elon Musk’s hands, even as he argues to rapidly re-open the economy.
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