NASA, the United States space agency has confirmed that the ozone layer depletion in the upper atmosphere above Antarctica has been drastically reduced. The space agency revealed that the hole in the ozone layer is the smallest since its discovery in 1982, and now, the hole had shrunk into 3.9 million square miles.
A statement issued by NASA and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) added that unusual weather pattern in the atmosphere is the main reason behind this natural healing of the ozone layer. It should be noted that the hole in the ozone layer was about 6.8 million square miles on September 08, and gradually it started shrinking due to unusual weather in the upper atmosphere.
During normal weather conditions, the hole in the Ozone layer this season will be approximately 8 million square miles. However, NASA admits that this new development could not be considered as a sign that indicates the fast track recovery of the ozone layer.
"It's great news for ozone in the Southern Hemisphere. 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," said Paul Newman, a scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in a recent statement.
The ozone layer is located approximately 7 to 25 miles above the earth's surface. This layer acts as a protective cover that prevents harmful ultraviolet radiation from reaching the earth's surface. Ultraviolet radiations are known to cause several issues like cancer among humans and animals, cataract, suppression of the immune system, and damage to plants.
A few months back, it has been reported that a mysterious source is expelling greenhouse gases that are destroying the ozone layer. Later, a study conducted by a team of researchers found that the source from which these gases are expelled is located in China. The study report revealed that China accounted for 40 and 60 per cent of the global increase in CFC-11 emissions between 2014 and 2017.