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The Ozone Hole 2020

 

Antarctic Situation at 2020 October 21 British Antarctic Survey

Antarctic ozone today:  The 2020 ozone hole grew rapidly from mid August and peaked at around 25 million square kilometres (msqkm) in early October.  It now covers 22 msqkm, above average for the last decade and covers most of the Antarctic continent.  Ozone amounts are generally high around the continent as the polar vortex blocks transport further south, and are past their minimum within the vortex.   Values range from around 110 DU within the vortex to over 400 DU outside it.  The area with lowest values is currently a little offset from the Pole towards South Africa.  NASA Ozone Watch reports a lowest value of 94 DU recorded on October 6, the lowest for around 15 years.  The vortex area near the base of the ozone layer has passed its maximum size at around 33 msqkm, and has shrunk a little to 31 msqkm which is above average for the time of year.  It remains very stable.  The temperature of the ozone layer over Antarctica has passed its minimum but is below the -78°C Polar Stratospheric Cloud (PSC) formation threshold in the lower parts of the ozone layer. The area with potential PSCs peaked at around 29 msqkm in July and has declined to around 13 msqkm, the largest it has been at this time of year.  The temperature is mostly a little below average values and is highest around Antarctica and declines towards the equator and over the Pole.  Severe ozone depletion is expected to persist over the coming week with the northern part of the Antarctic Peninsula largely outside the ozone hole until near the end of the month.

 

Antarctic Situation at 2020 October 12 British Antarctic Survey

Antarctic ozone today:  The 2020 ozone hole grew rapidly from mid August and peaked at around 24 million square kilometres (msqkm) in early October.  It now covers 22 msqkm, above average for the last decade and covers most of the Antarctic continent.  Ozone amounts are generally high around the continent as the polar vortex blocks transport further south, and are just past their minimum within the vortex.   Values range from around 110 DU within the vortex to well over 400 DU outside it.  The area with lowest values is currently roughly over Dronning Maud Land.  NASA Ozone Watch reports a lowest value of 94 DU recorded on October 6, the lowest for around 15 years.  The vortex area near the base of the ozone layer has passed its maximum size at around 33 msqkm, and has shrunk a little to 31 msqkm which is near average for the time of year.  It remains very stable.  The temperature of the ozone layer over Antarctica has passed its minimum but is below the -78°C Polar Stratospheric Cloud (PSC) formation threshold in the lower parts of the ozone layer. The area with potential PSCs peaked at around 29 msqkm in July and has declined to around 13 msqkm, well above the average for the time of year.  The temperature is mostly a little below average values and is highest around Antarctica and declines towards the equator and over the Pole.  Severe ozone depletion is expected to persist over the coming week with the hole transiting back from being elliptical to circular.

 

https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov

 

2020 Antarctic ozone hole is large and deep

Published

6 October 2020
 The World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

 

The annually occurring ozone hole over the Antarctic is one of the largest and deepest in recent years. Analyses show that the hole has reached its maximum size.

The 2020 ozone hole grew rapidly from mid-August and peaked at around 24 million square kilometres in early October.  It now covers 23 million km2, above average for the last decade and spreading over most of the Antarctic continent. 

WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch programme works closely with Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Service, NASA, Environment and Climate Change Canada and other partners to monitor the Earth’s ozone layer, which protects us from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun.

NASA’s Ozone Watch reports a lowest value of 95 Dobson Units recorded on October 1.  Scientists are seeing signs that the 2020 ozone hole now seems to have reached its maximum extent.

“There is much variability in how far ozone hole events develop each year. The 2020 ozone hole resembles the one from 2018, which also was a quite large hole, and is definitely in the upper part of the pack of the last fifteen years or so”, Vincent-Henri Peuch, Director of Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service at ECMWF, said in a news release.

“With the sunlight returning to the South Pole in the last weeks, we saw continued ozone depletion over the area. After the unusually small and short-lived ozone hole in 2019, which was driven by special meteorological conditions, we are registering a rather large one again this year, which confirms that we need to continue enforcing the Montreal Protocol banning emissions of ozone depleting chemicals.”

The Montreal Protocol bans emissions of ozone depleting chemicals. Since the ban on halocarbons, the ozone layer has slowly been recovering; the data clearly show a trend in decreasing area of the ozone hole.

The latest WMO /UN Environment Programme Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion, issued in 2018, concluded that the ozone layer on the path of recovery and to potential return of the ozone values over Antarctica to pre-1980 levels by 2060.

The large ozone hole in 2020 has beendriven by a strong, stable and cold polar vortex, which kept the temperature of the ozone layer over Antarctica consistently cold.

Ozone depletion is directly related to the temperature in the stratosphere, which is the layer of the atmosphere between around 10 km and round 50 km altitude. This is because polar stratospheric clouds, which have an important role in the chemical destruction of ozone, only form at temperatures below -78°C.

These polar stratospheric clouds contain ice crystals that can turn non-reactive compounds into reactive ones, which can then rapidly destroy ozone as soon as light from the sun becomes available to start the chemical reactions. This dependency on polar stratospheric clouds and solar radiation is the main reason the ozone hole is only seen in late winter/early spring.

Stratospheric ozone concentrations have been observed to have reduced to near-zero values over Antarctica around 20 to 25 km of altitude (50-100hPa), with the ozone layer depth coming just below 100 Dobson Units, about a third of its typical value outside of ozone hole events. 

During the Southern Hemisphere spring season (August - October) the ozone hole over the Antarctic increases in size, reaching a maximum between mid-September and mid-October. When temperatures high up in the atmosphere (stratosphere) start to rise in late Southern Hemisphere spring, ozone depletion slows, the polar vortex weakens and finally breaks down, and by the end of December ozone levels have returned to normal.

https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/2020-antarctic-ozone-hole-large-and-deep

 

 

 

Antarctic Situation at 2020 October 5  British Antarctic Survey

Antarctic ozone today:  The 2020 ozone hole grew rapidly from mid August and peaked at around 24 million square kilometres (msqkm) in early October.  It now covers 23 msqkm, above average for the last decade and covers most of the Antarctic continent.  Ozone amounts are generally high around the continent as the polar vortex blocks transport further south, and are near their minimum within the vortex.   Values range from around 100 DU within the vortex to well over 400 DU outside it.  The area with lowest values is roughly over the polar plateau at the longitude of South Africa.  NASA Ozone Watch reports a lowest value of 95 DU recorded on October 1.  The vortex area near the base of the ozone layer has passed its maximum size at around 33 msqkm, and has shrunk a little to 32 msqkm which is near average for the time of year.  It remains very stable.  The temperature of the ozone layer over Antarctica has passed its minimum but is below the -78°C Polar Stratospheric Cloud (PSC) formation threshold in most parts. The area with potential PSCs peaked at around 29 msqkm in July and has declined to around 17 msqkm, still above the average for the time of year.  The temperature is mostly close to or a little below average values and is highest around Antarctica and declines towards the equator and over the Pole.  Severe ozone depletion is expected to persist over the coming week with the hole transiting from circular to elliptical.

 

Antarctic Situation at 2020 September 28  British Antarctic Survey

Antarctic ozone today:  The 2020 ozone hole has grown rapidly since mid August and now covers 24 million square kilometres (msqkm), above average for the last decade.  It covers most of the Antarctic continent.  Ozone amounts are generally high around the continent as the polar vortex blocks transport further south, and are still decreasing within the vortex.   Values range from around 120 DU within the vortex to well over 400 DU outside it.  The area with lowest values is roughly over Halley.  The vortex area near the base of the ozone layer has passed its maximum size at around 33 msqkm, and has shrunk a little to 32 msqkm which is near average for the time of year.  It remains very stable.  The temperature of the ozone layer over Antarctica has passed its minimum but is below the -78°C Polar Stratospheric Cloud (PSC) formation threshold in most parts. The area with potential PSCs peaked at around 29 msqkm in July and has declined to around 18 msqkm, still above the average for the time of year.  The temperature is mostly close to or a little below average values and is highest around Antarctica and declines towards the equator and over the Pole.  Severe ozone depletion is expected to persist over the coming week.

Antarctic Situation at 2020 September 15 British Antarctic Survey

Antarctic ozone today:  The 2020 ozone hole has grown rapidly and now covers 22 million square kilometres (msqkm), well above average for the last decade.  It covers most of the Antarctic continent.   Ozone amounts are generally high around the continent as the polar vortex blocks transport further south, and are decreasing within the vortex.   Values range from around 150 DU within the vortex to well over 400 DU outside it.  Lowest values are in a horse-shoe shaped arc.  The vortex area near the base of the ozone layer has passed its maximum size at around 33 msqkm, and has shrunk a little to 32 msqkm which is near average for the time of year.  The temperature of the ozone layer over Antarctica is near its minimum and is below the -78°C Polar Stratospheric Cloud (PSC) formation threshold in most parts. The area with potential PSCs peaked at around 29 msqkm in July and has declined to around 21 msqkm, still a little above the average for the time of year.  The temperature is mostly close to or a little below average values and is highest around Antarctica and declines towards the equator and over the Pole.  Ozone depletion is expected to continue over the coming ten days.

https://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Antarctic Situation at 2020 September 7 British Antarctic Survey


Antarctic ozone today:  The 2020 ozone hole has grown rapidly and now covers 22 million square kilometres (msqkm), well above average.  It covers most of the Antarctic continent.   Ozone amounts are generally high around the continent as the polar vortex blocks transport further south, and are decreasing within the vortex.   Values range from around 150 DU within the vortex to well over 400 DU outside it.  Lowest values are over the base of the Antarctic Peninsula.  The vortex area near the base of the ozone layer has passed its maximum size at around 33 msqkm, and has shrunk a little to 32 msqkm which is near average for the time of year.  The temperature of the ozone layer over Antarctica is near its minimum and is below the -78°C Polar Stratospheric Cloud (PSC) formation threshold in most parts. The area with potential PSCs peaked at around 29 msqkm in July and has declined to around 21 msqkm, still a little above the average for the time of year.  The temperature is mostly close to or a little below average values and is highest around Antarctica and declines towards the equator and over the Pole.  Ozone depletion is expected to increase further over the coming ten days.

Antarctic Situation at 2020 August 24 British Antarctic Survey

Antarctic ozone today:  The 2020 ozone hole is growing.   Ozone amounts are generally building around the continent as the polar vortex blocks transport further south, and are decreasing within the vortex.   Values range from around 190 DU within the vortex to over 400 DU outside it.  Lowest values are over West Antarctica.  Rothera experienced its first ozone hole day on June 30.  The vortex area is still slowly increasing and covers around 33 million square kilometres (msqkm) near the base of the ozone layer, which is above average for the time of year.  The temperature of the ozone layer over Antarctica is near its minimum and is below the -78°C Polar Stratospheric Cloud (PSC) formation threshold in most parts, giving an area with potential PSC of 25 msqkm, above the average for the time of year.  The temperature is mostly close to or a little below average values and is highest around Antarctica and declines towards the equator and over the Pole.  Ozone depletion is expected to increase over the coming ten days as photochemistry and planetary wave forcings play their part.

Antarctic Situation at 2020 August 17 British Antarctic Survey

Antarctic ozone today:  The 2020 ozone hole is growing.   Ozone amounts are generally building around the continent as the polar vortex blocks transport further south, and are decreasing within the vortex.   Values range from around 220 DU within the vortex to over 400 DU outside it.  Lowest values are near the Pole towards the Antarctic Peninsula.  Rothera experienced its first ozone hole day on June 30.  The vortex area is increasing and now covers around 33 million square kilometres (msqkm) near the base of the ozone layer, which is above average for the time of year.  The temperature of the ozone layer over Antarctica is falling and is now below the -78°C Polar Stratospheric Cloud (PSC) formation threshold in most parts, giving an area with potential PSC of 27 msqkm, above the average for the time of year.  The temperature is mostly close to or a little below average values and is highest around Antarctica and declines towards the equator and over the Pole.  Ozone depletion is expected to increase over the coming ten days as photochemistry and planetary wave forcings play their part.

Antarctic Situation at 2020 August 10 British Antarctic Survey

Antarctic ozone today:  The 2020 ozone hole is growing.   Ozone amounts are generally building around the continent as the polar vortex blocks transport further south, and are decreasing within the vortex.   Values range from around 190 DU within the vortex to around 390 DU outside it.  Lowest values are over the Southern Ocean in the Pacfic sector.  Rothera experienced its first ozone hole day on June 30.  The vortex area is increasing and now covers around 32 million square kilometres (msqkm) near the base of the ozone layer, which is above average for the time of year.  The temperature of the ozone layer over Antarctica is falling and is now below the -78°C Polar Stratospheric Cloud (PSC) formation threshold in most parts, giving an area with potential PSC of 27 msqkm, above the average for the time of year.  The temperature is mostly close to or a little below average values and is highest around Antarctica and declines towards the equator and over the Pole.  Ozone depletion is expected to increase over the coming ten days as photochemistry and planetary wave forcings play their part.