Deep and larger-than-average Antarctic ozone hole 2021


This year's ozone hole over the southern hemisphere is again deep and larger-than-average due to the colder than usual winter atmosphere over the region. It reached its maximum area on October 7 and ranked as the 13th largest since 1979, according to NASA and NOAA.

NASA satellite observations determined the ozone hole in 2021 reached a maximum of 24.8 million square kilometers (9.6 million square miles), before beginning to shrink in mid-October.1

On October 7, NOAA scientists recorded a total-column ozone concentration of 102 Dobson units, the 8th-lowest level since 1986. Prior to the emergence of the ozone hole in the 1970s, average ozone above the South Pole in September and October ranged from 250 to 350 Dobson units.

At altitudes between 14 and 21 km (8 and 13 miles) ozone was nearly completely absent during the ozone hole’s maximum.

"This is a large ozone hole because of the colder than average 2021 stratospheric conditions, and without a Montreal Protocol, it would have been much larger," said Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

False-color view of total ozone over the Antarctic pole on October 7, 2021. The purple and blue colors are where there is the least ozone, and the yellows and reds are where there is more ozone. Credit: NASA/GSFC, OzoneWatch

Ozone is a gas made up of three oxygen atoms (O3). It occurs naturally in small (trace) amounts in the upper atmosphere (the stratosphere).2

Ozone protects life on Earth from the Sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In the lower atmosphere (the troposphere) near the Earth’s surface, ozone is created by chemical reactions between air pollutants from vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and other emissions. At ground level, high concentrations of ozone are toxic to people and plants.


1 Substantial Antarctic ozone hole in 2021 – EO

2 NASA Ozone Watch – GSFC

Featured image credit: NASA/GSFC, OzoneWatch

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  1. As above, so below. Science demanding people be faith based with mix and match vaccines, science can now prey to Government/Pharma to solve this. There must be huge grants for testing on and killing helpless animals before testing on and killing helpless humans….

  2. It’s not even a hole, just a thinning……..supposedly …..how would we know?, probably
    a hoax like the virus, scare people, make huge money…………..

    Like idiot algore, said the ice caps would all be melted by now……….

  3. I would think with the big industrial shut down due to weather and and other problems in China, and the world-wide industry problems from Covid Sars 2 the air pollution would have been a lot lower than recent years.
    Also massive back-up and non-movement of cargo between China and US should mean lower pollution one would think.

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