Unusual mini-hole detected in ozone layer above Arctic

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Unusual mini-hole detected in ozone layer above Arctic
Unusual mini-hole detected in ozone layer above Arctic

Arctic : The European Space Agency has detected an unusual hole in the ozone layer above Arctic. According to ESA, the ozone layer over the North Pole has been depleted plenty of times in the past. 

From the data provided by Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, the scientists have noticed a strong reduction of ozone concentrations over the Arctic.

The unusual atmospheric conditions, including freezing temperatures in the stratosphere, may have caused the mini-hole in the ozone layer, said ESA in a statement. 

It is expected that the hole will close by the end of this month, but this seems more like a trouble as it gets created during the autumn every year. 

In the past weeks, scientists from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) have noticed the unusually strong depletion of ozone over the northern polar regions. Using data from the Tropomi instrument on the Copernicus Sentinel-5P satellite, they were able to monitor this Arctic ozone hole form in the atmosphere.

"The ozone hole we observe over the Arctic this year has a maximum extension of less than 1 million sq km. This is small compared to the Antarctic hole, which can reach a size of around 20 to 25 million sq km with a normal duration of around 3 to 4 months," said Diego Loyola from the German Aerospace Center.

Claus Zehner, ESA's Copernicus Sentinel-5P mission manager, said: "The Tropomi total ozone measurements are extending Europe's capability of the continuous global ozone monitoring from space since 1995. In this time, we have not witnessed an ozone hole formation of this size over the Arctic."

This is not the first time a mini ozone hole has been spotted but the depletion over the Arctic this year is much larger compared to previous years.