Misfortunes never come alone. While the world is trying to cope with a pandemic as unexpected as it is fast spreading, the formation of an ozone hole has been recorded on the Arctic (not on the Antarctic!). As rare as it is large.
As reported by Nature: “Low temperatures combined with a strong polar vortex enabled chemicals to gnaw the protective ozone layer in the North.”
According to Nature, it is probably the largest ozone hole ever recorded in the North, rivalling – although it’s not a merit! – the better-known hole in the Antarctic ozone layer that forms every year in the southern hemisphere.
At present, the hole is not a threat to people’s health and is likely to close in the coming weeks. It is nonetheless an extraordinary atmospheric phenomenon that will make history.
“In my opinion, this is the first time one can talk of an actual ozone hole in the Arctic,” Martin Dameris, scientist at the German Aerospace Center in Oberpfaffenhofen, tells Nature. The hole is three times the size of Greenland.
Do we need to worry? Let’s say that the next few weeks are crucial to understand whether we should be concerned or not. As the sun is slowly rising over the Arctic horizon, atmospheric temperatures in the ozone hole region have started to rise already and the ozone may begin to recover soon. At the moment, we keep it under observation.