Largest Arctic Ozone Hole Closes, Scientists Say COVID19 Quarantines Probably Had ‘Nothing to Do with This’

CAMS said on Twitter that the dangerous hole closed due to the polar vortex split, allowing ozone-rich air into the Arctic.
CAMS

Scientists have announced that the largest Arctic Ozone hole ever recorded has closed itself, due to a change in the polar vortex. Scientists with Copernicus' Atmospheric Monitoring Service (CAMS), who track and monitor the ozone layer and the changing climate, say that the massive hole, which formed earlier this year, has closed. 

The ozone layer, which acts as a layer of protection for the Earth similar to that of humans putting on sunscreen, has been under threat for decades from human emissions of chemicals including chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

The massive hole over the Arctic, which was discovered in early spring, was three times the size of Greenland, according to scientists from the European Space Agency. They said that the "rather unusual" hole was surprisingly not caused by human activity but because of a particularly strong Arctic polar vortex. 

CAMS said on Twitter that the dangerous hole closed due to the polar vortex split, allowing ozone-rich air into the Arctic.

 

 

While air and water quality around the world has improved due to COVID19-related lockdowns, CAMS says the hole closing over the North Pole is likely unrelated.

"COVID19 and the associated lockdowns probably had nothing to do with this,” the group said on Twitter.

CAMS also said it does not expect the same occurrence to happen next year. 

The Arctic polar vortex sits over the North Pole, frequently expanding south during the winter impacting the United States and typically weakening in warmer months.

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