You might have heard that the ozone hole open over the South Pole every year but the same at the North Pole is much, much rare. And recently geoscience researchers have detected an ozone hole over the North Pole. The ozone hole covers an area roughly three times the size of Greenland, as said by European Space Agency (ESA) in a statement.
The ESA also said this may lead to the unrestricted entry of harmful ultraviolet radiation to the people living at far northern latitudes. Unfortunately, the hole looks likely to close on its own in the next few weeks.
The ozone layer is a sheet of gas in Earth’s atmosphere that absorbs much of the harmful traditions or the UV radiation emitted by the sun. The layer opens over Antarctica every year due to seasonal changes but holes over the Arctic are very rare.
The last opening of the hole over the Arctic was observed in 2011, and it was smaller than the hole seen now, researchers said.
“From my point of view, this is the first time you can speak about a real ozone hole in the Arctic,” Martin Dameris, an atmospheric scientist at the German Aerospace Center, told Nature.
The Antarctic ozone hole opens every year in against of human-made pollution and seasonal changes, prominently the frigid temperatures. Industrial chemical pollutants including bromine and chlorine trigger this loss of ozone gas over the atmospheric surface of Earth.
This is not common to have ozone depletion over the Arctic but this year the powerful winds trapped cold air in a “polar vortex” above the Arctic. And this led to colder temperatures and more high-altitude clouds than normal. Hence, the North Pole ozone-depletion began.
The researchers also mentioned that the sun is getting higher over the Arctic so a change in atmospheric temperature could be expected which states that the conditions causing the ozone hole should change soon. And if the same happens then the residents of southern Greenland may need to apply sunscreen to reduce or prevent the damage caused by the UV radiation.