Higher temperature over Antarctica shrinks Ozone layer hole to smallest since 1988, says NASA

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New Delhi : Amid rising temperature over Antarctica, a hole in Earth's ozone layer has shrunk to smallest since 1988, announce scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The size of hole in Ozone layer was at its peak on September 11, almost two and a half times the size of the United States; but then it started declining and have been on a continuous shrinking spree for rest of the September and October.

The NOAA's ground-and balloon-based measurements suggest that the current size of hole in Ozone layer is smallest since 1988.

"The Antarctic ozone hole was exceptionally weak this year," Paul A. Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a statement. 

"This is what we would expect to see given the weather conditions in the Antarctic stratosphere," Newman added.

The main reason behind shrinking of the hole is an unstable and warmer Antarctic vortex - the stratospheric low pressure system that rotates clockwise in the atmosphere above Antarctica.

In 2016, the ozone hole reached a maximum 8.9 million square miles, 2 million square miles less than in 2015. 

The average area of these daily ozone hole maximums observed since 1991 has been roughly 10 million square miles. 

(with IANS inputs)