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Antarctic ozone hole is nearly smallest it's been for 20 years, NASA says

NASA satellite images show that the average size of the ozone hole was 6.9 million square miles and reached its largest size last month.

ozone holeEnlarge
NOAA says that the ozone hole above Antarctica is the smallest it has been in 20 years. (Handout/Getty Images)

The ozone hole above Antarctica is the second smallest it has been in 20 years say scientists.

NASA satellite images show that the average size of the ozone hole was 6.9 million square miles and reached its largest size last month.

Scientists say that warm temperatures above Antarctica did not cause the ozone to recede as much this year.

“It happened to be a bit warmer this year high in the atmosphere above Antarctica, and that meant we didn’t see quite as much ozone depletion as we saw last year,” said Jim Butler, the director of global monitoring at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, reported Bloomberg.

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The largest the ozone hole receded was in 2000 at 11.5 million square miles, said Bloomberg.

The ozone layer is Earth's shield against ultraviolet radiation.

The depletion of the ozone was first noticed in the 1980s.

An international agreement to regulate the production of ozone-depleting chemicals.

The Antarctic ozone layer is not likely to return to pre-1980s levels until the last quarter of the century it is believed, said UPI

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/121025/antarctic-ozone-hole-nearly-smallest-its-been-20-years-nasa-says