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‘Tis the Season…for Ozone Depletion

September 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Around this time each year in the Southern Hemisphere, the winter turns to spring. This brings with it warmer temperatures, but also the infamous ozone hole.

The direct sunlight which bombards the Antarctica region during the summer months causes chemical reactions to occur which destroy ozone molecules. Ozone, of course, is our natural protector against ultraviolet rays from the sun.

So the ozone “hole” isn’t really a hole, but more of an area of marked depletion of ozone.

NASA has been studying and quantifying the extent of ozone depletion in the area since 1979. The hole reached a maximum on 24 September 2006.

Ozone hole on 24 September 2006. Blue areas indicate areas of depleted ozone.

There is much more information on NASA’s Ozone Hole Watch website, so be sure to check it out. And always remember to reapply suncreen every 2 hours.