The giant hole in the Earth’s protective ozone layer is shrinking day by day and has shriveled to its smallest peak since 1988, said the NASA scientists.
The largest the hole became this year was about 7.6 million square miles wide, in September. But still 1.3 million square miles smaller than last year, and has shrunk more since September.
Warmer-than-usual weather conditions in the stratosphere is one of the reason for the shrinkage since 2016, as this helped fend off chemicals like chlorine and bromine that destroy the ozone layer.
Paul A. Newman, chief Earth scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland said that Weather conditions over Antarctica were a bit weaker and led to warmer temperatures, which slowed down ozone loss.
The news comes just after the 30th anniversary of the hole’s discovery, which led to the 1987 Montreal Protocol — a landmark international agreement that led to major global efforts to phase out the use of ozone-depleting chemicals.
Ozone layer deterioration was mainly taking place over Antarctica.
In 2014, scientists at the United Nations credited the recovery of the ozone layer to the phasing out of chemicals used in refrigerators, air conditioners and aerosol cans in the 1980s. But CFCs have long lifetimes, and could still float around in the atmosphere 100 years from now.
The ozone hole was largest in 2000, when it was 11.5 million square miles wide, according to NASA.