Largest-ever hole in the ozone layer above Arctic closes: scientists

Largest-ever hole in the ozone layer above Arctic closes: scientists

PanARMENIAN.Net - The largest hole ever observed in the ozone layer over the Arctic has closed, says Copernicus' Atmosphere Monitoring Service, according to euronews.

Scientists spotted signs in late March of a rare hole forming and it was thought to be the result of low temperatures at the north pole.

The ozone layer shields the Earth from most of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation, which is a major cause of skin cancer.

The record-breaking hole would only have posed a direct threat to humans if it had moved further south to populated areas.

But on Thursday (April 23), Copernicus - the EU's earth monitoring programme - announced the hole had now closed.

The closing has nothing to do with the reduction in pollution caused by having much of the world on COVID-19 lockdown.

Instead, it's down to the polar vortex, the high-altitude currents that normally bring cold air to the polar regions. This has split in two giving the Arctic region a relative heatwave, with temperatures up to 20ºC higher than is normal for this time of year.

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