Both EU Earth Monitoring Program and NASA have claimed that the ozone layer above the Arctic has started healing. According to NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre, the ozone layer hits a record low level of 205 Dobson units in March 2020. A Dobson unit is a measure of a total amount of ozone gas at a particular point in Earth’s atmosphere.
Observations reveal that the ozone hole over the Arctic has shrunk to smaller in 8 million square miles and researches has shown the ozone layer is on its way to healing completely. Fortunately, it is 20% healed which is positive news.
What Caused Ozone Layer to Deplete
Ozone is a gas molecule with three oxygen atoms connected in a molecule. Earth’s atmosphere, 15-55 km in the stratosphere, had a complete shield of these molecules around it before the depletion of the layer above the Arctic region. The Ozone layer serves as a barrier between Earth’s surface and the harmful radiations of the sun. If harmful ultraviolet radiations were allowed to reach Earth’s surface, life on Earth wouldn’t be possible. These ultraviolet radiation could result in cancer, low immunity, and various other diseases in human beings and it could also pose a threat to the life of plants on Earth.
In 1979, scientists noticed a slight depletion of the ozone layer above the Arctic region, which was a hole that started to spread wide and was recorded one million square kilometers wide approximately. Several factors contributed to this including climate changes, global warming, and human activities on Earth. In the 9th century, the use of chlorofluorocarbons in human activities reached an alarming level and as a result, caused depletion of the ozone layer over the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Moreover, scientists believe that it was because of the unusual weak upper atmosphere wave events, in which the waves from the lower atmosphere altered the wind patterns in the Arctic region bringing ozone from other parts of the atmosphere.
How Ozone Layer Healed
Credit goes to the Montreal Protocol, Canada, which stepped forward and banned the use of chlorofluorocarbons by industries. This has helped Earth to purify its atmosphere and grow. Scientists believe that polar vortex helped a lot. A polar vortex is an area of cold air and low pressure surrounding both poles of Earth. The hole was believed to be a result of low temperatures.