Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



OZONE NEWS
2016 Antarctic ozone hole moderate sized, consistent with expectations
by Staff Writers
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Nov 02, 2016


At its peak on Sept. 28, 2016, the ozone hole extended across an area nearly three times the size of the continental United States. The purple and blue colors are where there is the least ozone, and the yellows and reds are where there is more ozone. Image courtesy NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. For a larger version of this image please go here.

The hole in Earth's ozone layer that forms over Antarctica each September grew to about 8.9 million square miles in 2016 before starting to recover, according to scientists from NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) who monitor the annual phenomenon.

"This year we saw an ozone hole that was just below average size," said Paul A. Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "What we're seeing is consistent with our expectation and our understanding of ozone depletion chemistry and stratospheric weather."

At its peak on Sept. 28, 2016, the ozone hole extended across an area nearly three times the size of the continental United States. The average area of the hole observed since 1991 has been roughly 10 million square miles.

In 2015 the ozone hole grew to 10.9 million square miles, 2 million square miles larger than this year, before returning to relatively normal summer levels. Its larger size last year was due to colder-than-average temperatures in the stratosphere that amplified the destruction of ozone by sunlight reacting with chlorine and bromine from man-made chemicals, scientists said. In 2016, warmer stratospheric temperatures constrained the growth of the ozone hole.

Ozone, which occurs naturally in small amounts in the atmosphere, is comprised of three oxygen atoms as opposed to the two that make up the much more abundant molecular oxygen.. High in the stratosphere, roughly 6 to 30 miles above the surface, the ozone layer acts like sunscreen, shielding Earth from potentially harmful ultraviolet radiation that can cause skin cancer, cataracts and suppress immune systems, as well as damage plants. Ozone is also one of the primary greenhouse gasses that regulate Earth's temperature.

First detected in 1985, the Antarctic ozone hole forms during the Southern Hemisphere's late winter months of August and September as the sun's rays return after months of polar night. The sunlight initiates catalytic reactions that produce chemically active forms of chlorine and bromine concentrated over the South Pole during winter. These reactions rapidly destroy ozone molecules.

In addition to the area of the ozone hole, scientists also measure the concentration of ozone that would be found in a column of atmosphere extending from the surface to the edge of space. The most common unit for measuring ozone concentration is the Dobson Unit, which is the number of ozone molecules that would be required to create a layer of pure ozone 0.01 millimeters thick at a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit at an atmospheric pressure equivalent to Earth's surface.

This year, the ozone layer reached a minimum concentration of 114 Dobson Units on Oct. 1, 2016. In 2015, the ozone layer reached a minimum of 101 Dobson units on October 4. During the 1960s, before the Antarctic ozone hole occurred, average ozone concentrations above the South Pole ranged from 260 to 320 Dobson units.

This year's Antarctic ozone hole is similar to the 2013 hole which reached 9.3 million square miles. Although warmer than average stratospheric weather conditions reduce ozone depletion, the current ozone hole area is large compared to the 1980s, when the depletion of the ozone layer above Antarctica was first detected. This is because levels of ozone-depleting substances remain high enough to produce significant ozone loss.

NASA and NOAA monitor ozone levels via three complementary instrumental methods.

NASA's Aura satellite and NASA-NOAA Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership satellite measure ozone from space. The Aura satellite's Microwave Limb Sounder data are used to estimate chlorine levels.

NOAA scientists monitor the thickness of the ozone layer and its vertical distribution above at the South Pole station by regular releasing weather balloons carrying ozone-measuring "sondes" and with an instrument called a Dobson spectrophotometer.

"Our weather balloon measurements showed that the ozone minimum was a bit less and the rate of ozone loss a bit slower than we've typically seen," said Bryan Johnson, a NOAA atmospheric chemist and project leader. "This is what we would expect to see in years to come as a result of the Montreal Protocol and international efforts to control ozone depleting chemicals."

In 1987, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer began regulating ozone-depleting compounds, which are slowly declining. Scientists expect the ozone hole to recover back to 1980 levels around 2070.


Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

.


Related Links
Ozone Watch at Goddard
All about the Ozone Layer






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Previous Report
OZONE NEWS
Accounting for ozone
Boulder CA (SPX) Aug 10, 2016
The first peer-reviewed study to directly quantify how emissions from oil and gas activities influence summertime ozone pollution in the Colorado Front Range confirms that chemical vapors from oil and gas activities are a significant contributor to the region's chronic ozone problem. Summertime ozone pollution levels in the northern Front Range periodically spike above 70 parts per billion ... read more


OZONE NEWS
Russia to face strong competition from China in space launch market

Vega And Gokturk-1A are present for next Arianespace lightweight mission

Antares Rides Again

Four Galileo satellites are "topped off" for Arianespace's milestone Ariane 5 launch from the Spaceport

OZONE NEWS
Detailed images of Schiaparelli and its descent hardware on Mars

Cursed not, Difficult yes

Did it crash or land? Search on for Europe's Mars craft

Rover Conducting Science Investigations at 'Spirit Mount'

OZONE NEWS
NASA Moon Mission Shares Insights into Giant Impacts

Research helps explain formation of ringed Lunar crater

Russia plans to revive lunar rover moon exploration program

Small impacts are reworking the moon's soil faster than scientists thoug

OZONE NEWS
Last Bits of 2015 Pluto Flyby Data Received on Earth

Uranus may have two undiscovered moons

Possible Clouds on Pluto, Next Target is Reddish

Curious tilt of the Sun traced to undiscovered planet

OZONE NEWS
How Planets Like Jupiter Form

Giant Rings Around Exoplanet Turn in the Wrong Direction

Preferentially Earth-sized Planets with Lots of Water

Potential new hunting ground for exoplanets discovered

OZONE NEWS
SpaceX zeroes in on helium containers for rocket explosion

Proven engine packs big, in-space punch for Space Launch System

Boosting Europe's all-electric satellites

Guiding Supply Ship to the International Space Station

OZONE NEWS
US, China hold second meeting on advancing space cooperation

China to enhance space capabilities with launch of Shenzhou-11

Ambitious space satellite projects set for liftoff

China's permanent station plans ride on mission

OZONE NEWS
15000 space rocks and counting

OSIRIS-REx conducts thruster test on route to asteroid Bennu

Astronomers Predict Birthplace of Rosetta's Comet

Unexpected discoveries on a metal world




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News






The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement