Rare Ozone Hole Opens Over Arctic — And It’s Big 

Posted: March 29, 2020 by oldbrew in News, ozone, Temperature

One for the ‘planet on fire’ crowd to ponder, as the long solar minimum continues.
– – –
Cold temperatures and a strong polar vortex allowed chemicals to gnaw away at the protective ozone layer in the north, says The GWPF.

A vast ozone hole — likely the biggest on record in the north — has opened in the skies above the Arctic. It rivals the better-known Antarctic ozone hole that forms in the southern hemisphere each year.

Record-low ozone levels currently stretch across much of the central Arctic, covering an area about three times the size of Greenland (see ‘Arctic opening’).

The hole doesn’t threaten people’s health, and will probably break apart in the coming weeks. But it is an extraordinary atmospheric phenomenon that will go down in the record books.

“From my point of view, this is the first time you can speak about a real ozone hole in the Arctic,” says Martin Dameris, an atmospheric scientist at the German Aerospace Center in Oberpfaffenhofen.

The hole’s formation

Ozone normally forms a protective blanket in the stratosphere, about 10 to 50 kilometres above the ground, where it shields life from solar ultraviolet radiation.

But each year in the Antarctic winter, frigid temperatures allow high-altitude clouds to coalesce above the South Pole. Chemicals, including chlorine and bromine, which come from refrigerants and other industrial sources, trigger reactions on the surfaces of those clouds that chew away at the ozone layer.

The Antarctic ozone hole forms every year because winter temperatures in the area routinely plummet, allowing the high-altitude clouds to form. These conditions are much rarer in the Arctic, which has more variable temperatures and isn’t usually primed for ozone depletion, says Jens-Uwe Grooß, an atmospheric scientist at the Juelich Research Centre in Germany.

But this year, powerful westerly winds flowed around the North Pole and trapped cold air within a ‘polar vortex’. There was more cold air above the Arctic than in any winter recorded since 1979, says Markus Rex, an atmospheric scientist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Potsdam, Germany.

In the chilly temperatures, the high-altitude clouds formed, and the ozone-destroying reactions began.

Original source: Nature – News Article 27 March 2020

  1. Bloke no longer down the pub says:

    The Montreal protocol that supposedly cured the ozone hole problem, is often held up by the climate alarmists as a route map for how to combat climate change. It would be a shame if it turned out to be a road to nowhere.

  2. P.A.Semi says:

    That’s B.S. or vain scare-mongering of “Nature” journal…

    There is no ozone hole in Arctic now any comparable to Antarctic:

    (top panels 2019-03-27 and 2020-03-27 on north hemisphere, bottom panels 2018-09-27 and 2019-09-27 on southern hemisphere)

    There is somehow lower ozone over arctic than is usual, but not any much. There has been a significantly smaller ozone hole over Antarctic last autumn (Antarctic spring) comparable to year 2002…

    The ozone hole does not depend on chlorines or bromines, that’s similar to “Climate Hoax” paid scientific propaganda…

    Once I’ve read a plausible explanation, that it’s frozen nitric acid (HNO3) crystals, that get melted, when sunlight starts shining over Antarctic in their spring. The air above Antarctic is significantly colder during their winter than over Arctic, which is why the nitric acid freezes to crystals. There is probably nothing much related to the clouds, since over Antarctic winter there is no ozone hole, it starts in spring, when sunlight starts shining.

    On the same analogous time on northern hemisphere, on northern spring, there is typically most ozone from all the year…

  3. oldbrew says:

    NASA’s Ozone Watch page – daily updates

    The Nature graphic…

  4. Phoenix44 says:


    Come on! It’s not quite April 1st

  5. oldbrew says:

    Phoenix – it’s a suburb of Munich, not to be confused with Unterpfaffenhofen.

  6. pochas94 says:

    Prepare for a boatload of hooey.

  7. #FearMonger! 😣😠😢😶

  8. Gamecock says:

    ‘Cold temperatures and a strong polar vortex allowed chemicals to gnaw away at the protective ozone layer in the north’

    Philosophers want to know: How can it be ‘protective’ if there is nothing to protect?

  9. Bloke no longer down the pub says:

    Alarmists like to hold up the Montreal protocol as an example of how international action can solve a threat to human existence and as a template for combatting climate change. It’d be a shame if a ruddy great hole in the ozone layer drove a coach and horses through their plans.

  10. tom0mason says:

    Well hopefully that ozone hole drifts over Europe to help disinfect away the Wuhan virus.

  11. Dodgy Geezer says:

    Surely the main source for chlorine and bromine is the ocean, not industry?

  12. oldbrew says:

    DG – could well be…

    It had been reported that ozone destruction in the lower Arctic atmosphere is linked to the bromoform that is produced in large quantities by sea ice algae.


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