Ozone Hole is The Smallest It’s Ever Been

NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have monitored the ozone hole since 1982, and are now reporting it shrunk to its smallest recorded size in late September. Currently measuring 3.9 million square miles, the hole decreasing in size is great news (especially for the Southern Hemisphere) as the ozone layer protects our planet from “harmful ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin cancer and cataracts, suppress immune systems and also damage plants.” The hole shrinking is being attributed to recent weather abnormalities that heated up temperatures in the stratosphere. Paul Newman (chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center) says, “It’s important to recognize that what we’re seeing this year is due to warmer stratospheric temperatures. It’s not a sign that atmospheric ozone is suddenly on a fast track to recovery.” Read more at NASA.