Ozone hole over the Antarctic is one of the largest and deepest in recent years

The ozone hole over the Antarctic has reached its 2020 peak and is one of the largest holes of recent years. 

Ozone depletion over the frozen continent was first spotted in 1985 and over the last 35 years various measures have been introduced to try and shrink the hole. 

Every August, at the start of the Antarctic Spring, the ozone hole begins to grow and reaches its peak around October. 

For 2020, researchers say the hole has now reached its maximum size and it is 'definitely in the upper part of the pack of the last fifteen years or so', experts say.

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The ozone hole over the Antarctic has reached its 2020 peak and is one of the largest holes of recent years. Pictured left, a computer generated image and right, a satellite image of the hole (blue)

The ozone hole over the Antarctic has reached its 2020 peak and is one of the largest holes of recent years. Pictured left, a computer generated image and right, a satellite image of the hole (blue)

This graph records daily measurements for the size of the ozone hole for 2020 (yellow) and other years. It shows that this year's hole is one of the biggest of the last decade

This graph records daily measurements for the size of the ozone hole for 2020 (yellow) and other years. It shows that this year's hole is one of the biggest of the last decade

Researchers from the European Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) use satellite data to track the hole daily. 

'There is much variability in how far ozone hole events develop each year,' says Vincent-Henri Peuch, director of CAMS.

'The 2020 ozone hole resembles the one from 2018, which also was a quite large hole, and is definitely in the upper part of the pack of the last fifteen years or so.

'With the sunlight returning to the South Pole in the last weeks, we saw continued ozone depletion over the area.'

He adds that the 2019 ozone hole was unusually small, and that normal service has been resumed this year with a relatively large level of ozone depletion. 

Despite the gaping hole, experts are confident that since the restrictions on ozone-destroying halocarbons was introduced via the Montreal Protocol in 1987, the hole has slowly been recovering. 

Ozone depletion relies on extremely cold temperatures as only at -78°C can a specific type of cloud, called polar stratospheric clouds, form. Therefore, the colder the temperature in the stratosphere over Antarctica, the bigger the ozone hole. This graph shows that 2020 (yellow) is one of the coldest years, on average, above the frozen continent

Ozone depletion relies on extremely cold temperatures as only at -78°C can a specific type of cloud, called polar stratospheric clouds, form. Therefore, the colder the temperature in the stratosphere over Antarctica, the bigger the ozone hole. This graph shows that 2020 (yellow) is one of the coldest years, on average, above the frozen continent 

Ozone depletion over the frozen continent was first spotted in 1985 and over the last 35 years various measures have been introduced to try and reduce the hole. Every August, at the start of the Antarctic Spring, the ozone hole begins to grow and reaches its peak around October

Ozone depletion over the frozen continent was first spotted in 1985 and over the last 35 years various measures have been introduced to try and reduce the hole. Every August, at the start of the

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