Scientists believe the closing of the hole is because of the same polar vortex, and not because of the lower pollution levels during the coronavirus lockdown.
Earlier this month, scientists reported a strong reduction of ozone concentrations over the Arctic beloved to have been caused by unusual atmospheric conditions. The hole — first identified in March 2020 — is now being reported to have closed.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) confirmed that the largest hole in the Ozone later above the Arctic has closed.
“The unprecedented 2020 northern hemisphere #OzoneHole has come to an end. The #PolarVortex split, allowing #ozone-rich air into the Arctic, closely matching last week’s forecast from the #CopernicusAtmosphere Monitoring Service,” the official Twitter handle of Copernicus ECMWF tweeted.
The ozone layer is a protective layer of gas in the stratosphere. It shields the planet from Sun’s harmful ultraviolet radiation, which can otherwise cause skin cancer and cataracts along with other environmental issues.
Scientists noticed the unusually strong depletion of ozone over the northern polar regions in March, which is believed to have been the largest hole in the Ozone layer. The hole could have led to a bigger threat had it moved towards the south.
Although mini ozone holes over the North Pole aren’t rare, the depletion over the Arctic this year was much larger compared to previous years. The reason for this year’s ozone hole is said to have occurred due to the polar vortex — a circling whirlpool of stratospheric winds responsible for bringing cold air to the polar regions.
Scientists also believe that the closing of the hole is because of the same polar vortex and not because of the lower pollution levels during the coronavirus lockdown.
Source: The Indian Express