Antarctic Ozone Hole is Shrinking

Susan Solomon at MIT, along with ACOM scientists Doug Kinnison and Michael Mills, have identified the “first fingerprints of healing” of the Antarctic ozone layer, published on June 30, 2016 in the journal Science. The research was covered by BBC Science.

The research team found that the September ozone hole has shrunk by more than 4 million square kilometers — about half the area of the contiguous United States — since 2000, when ozone depletion was at its peak. They also showed for the first time that this recovery has slowed somewhat at times, due to the effects of volcanic eruptions from year to year. Overall, however, the ozone hole appears to be on a healing path.

The other paper co-authors are Diane Ivy of MIT, Ryan Neely of the University of Leeds, and Anja Schmidt of the University of Leeds.

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This animation shows the opening and closing of the Antarctic ozone hole (dark blue) in 2015. (Animation courtesy of NASA.)




ACOM | Atmospheric Chemistry Observations & Modeling