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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.
Missions from NASA have put a man on the moon and a rover on Mars, but a new Earth-focused mission will provide crucial information about climate change and extreme weather.
Why This Matters: NASA is focusing now on its ability to “see” the Earth, not just to explore space, as part of a broader climate re-orientation at the agency, which includes a new climate advisor position and an increase in climate-oriented missions.
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Yesterday, the International Energy Agency–an international energy forum comprised of 29 industrialized countries under the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation– issued a comprehensive roadmap of what it would take for the world to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 while keeping to the 1.5C goal. As the BBC explained, […]
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Staff Writer Debris from an out-of-control rocket from China hit the Indian Ocean near the Maldives on Saturday, causing NASA to criticize China for not meeting “responsible standards.” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement: “Spacefaring nations must minimize the risks to people and property on Earth of re-entries of […]
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