Scientists Have Said The Largest Ozone Layer Hole Might Be Closing

We often hear people say that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Indeed, this saying comes in handy now more than ever as we look forward to the brighter days ahead of the pandemic. Thankfully, good news continues to persist in the midst of these difficult times. For one, we’ve seen how the pollution levels in Italy have dropped significantly in light of the lockdown. This time, scientists at NASA have spotted another remarkable improvement involving the ozone layer hole over the Arctic pole.

Back in February, scientists observed the largest gap ever recorded in the Arctic’s ozone layer. Based on NASA Ozone Watch’s daily reports, the gap has continuously stretched over the Northern Hemisphere until recently. Surprisingly, by April, it appeared that the gap has been slowly coming to an end.

 

Here’s a false-color view of total ozone over the Arctic pole observed on March 2nd, 2020

 

The colors purple and blue signify areas with least ozone, while the colors red and yellow denote areas with more ozone

 

In a view observed on March 26th, it appeared that the hole has been getting smaller by the day

 

On April 26th, exactly a month later, the report showed that the ozone layer hole in the Northern Hemisphere has successfully closed

 

 

While it’s easy to assume that such occurrence was a result of the lockdown-induced regulation of human activities… it’s actually not. It turns out that there’s a more natural cause behind the ozone layer’s healing this time around. Scientists from Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) have attributed it to the weakening of the polar vortex in the region.

The polar vortex is a swirling mass of cold air that contributes to ozone depletion. Apparently, it has been “unusually strong and long-lived” lately, resulting in an unprecedented ozone hole in the Northern Hemisphere. However, since it’s essentially a winter phenomenon, it would eventually die down once the temperature rises again. Vortex breakup normally occurs late in March or early in April. But this can start as early as February and go on as late as May.

 

Copernicus ECMWF also provided additional information regarding the Ozone layer hole via its Twitter page

 

 

 

 

 

Sure, the weakening of the polar vortex is a natural occurrence that has nothing to do with human activities. Even so, scientists have concurred that the 1987 Montreal Protocol has been a significant step towards healing the ozone layer.

 

Watch this video to learn more about the ozone layer’s healing journey through the years

 

Although the closure of the ozone layer hole in the Arctic pole is not brought about by the pandemic-induced lockdown, we can’t deny the fact that it’s been bringing positive impact to nature

 

The water in Venice’s famous canals have once again become crystal clear

 

 

Even animals have been spotted strolling the streets