NASA scientists are baffled and disappointed. The hole in the ozone layer of the earth’s atmosphere is smaller than it has ever been. And as if the evidence had to add insult to injury, the data also shows that the hole is smaller because of warmer temperatures world wide.
The hole in the ozone layer has shrunk to its smallest size since scientists began monitoring it in 1982 because of unusual weather patterns in the upper atmosphere over Antarctica, according to NASA. The hole fluctuates in size annually and is usually largest during the coldest months in the southern hemisphere, from late September to early October.
The latest observations from space have shown the hole now covers less than 3.9million square miles – a record low and almost half as small as it was during its peak at 6.3million on September 8 only six weeks ago. Experts say the hole is usually around 8 million square miles during this time of year.
Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center said it is “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. Even though we always told people that ‘global warming’ was causing the depletion of the ozone layer.”
This year’s warmer global temperatures — aided by unusual weather patterns — have therefore helped to limit damage the ozone layer. In turn, this has led to a much smaller ozone hole this year than we have previously seen. On the surface, the strengthening of the ozone layer would seem to be a promising development — as such serves to better protect the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the Sun.
But for many in the atmosphere, global warming is not only a source of their livelihood, it directly impacts their ability to help push through policies, regulations, taxes, and other means of controlling people. So, scientifically speaking, this is Bummerous Maximus.