(Tea Party 247) – The hole in the ozone layer is the smallest it’s been since it’s discovery in 1982 thanks to unusual weather patterns in the upper atmosphere, according to NASA. Throughout the year the hole fluctuates and is typically the largest it is between late September and early October but this year it’s the smallest it’s ever been.
The latest observations from space show that the hole reached its annual peak of 6.3 million square miles and then diminished to less than 3.9 million square miles during late September and early October, a record low for a hole that typically grows to a maximum area of eight million square miles.
Researchers say this year’s small size was due to a warming event in the stratosphere, which disturbed the ozone-thinning process.
“It’s great news for ozone in the Southern Hemisphere,” Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said in a statement. “But it’s important to recognize that what we’re seeing this year is due to warmer stratospheric temperatures. It’s not a sign that atmospheric ozone is suddenly on a fast track to recovery.”
It is the third time in 40 years in which warming halted ozone depletion, as similar weather patterns led to unusually small ozone holes between 1988 and 2002, the Washington Post reported.
“It’s a rare event that we’re still trying to understand,” Susan Strahan, an atmospheric scientist with the Universities Space Research Association, said in a statement. “If the warming hadn’t happened, we’d likely be looking at a much more typical ozone hole.”
Protecting the ozone layer started back in the 80’s when researchers discovered there was a hole in it and the hole was being caused by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). CFCs are “a group of volatile compounds, split apart under UV radiation in the stratosphere to release chlorine atoms.” The Register reports, “These free radicals with a spare electron readily reacted with ozone molecules – made up of three oxygen atoms – breaking them apart to become to produce [sic] oxygen and more chlorine free radicals.”
These chemical reactions have caused the hole in the ozone layer which in turn makes it much easier for dangerous UV radiation to make its way through our atmosphere. In 1987, scientists and politicians began taking action to protect the ozone layer by banning CFC’s and other chemicals.
Now the ozone hole is smaller than it’s ever been but this is not necessarily due in any part to human efforts, much like climate change itself.
NASA reported that the change in the size of the hole is due to warmer temperatures in the stratosphere. According to Breitbart, “The weather systems that disrupted the 2019 ozone hole, known as “sudden stratospheric warming” events, were 29 degrees higher than average. NASA said this weather event also helped to weaken the Antarctic polar vortex — a high speed of air which circles around the South Pole.”
Turns out humans just don’t have that big of an impact on the earth and the atmosphere after all. Something rational-thinking people have known for decades.