The amount of ozone in the atmosphere in the Arctic this winter fell by a record amount of 40%, according to the World Meteorological Organization.
Record, since the earth's surface and with balloons over the Arctic region, as well as from satellites show that the Arctic region has undergone a loss of 40% of the ozone layer over the period from the beginning of the winter to late March. Previously, the largest recorded damage to the ozone layer was about 30% for the whole winter, "- said in a statement WMO, on Tuesday. .
The specialists of the German Institute for Polar and Marine Research, Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) reported a sharp decrease in the thickness of the ozone layer over the Arctic region. A few weeks in February and March layer "lost" almost half the thickness of the layer in the middle of March is about 280 Dobson units (used to measure ozone in the atmosphere), despite the fact that the threshold value for the ozone hole has taken 220 Dobson units.
Later, NASA Aura satellite data confirmed these findings, and on Monday the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that the satellite Envisat also a record low ozone in the sky above the Euro-Arctic Region.
In the Antarctic, the so-called ozone hole occurs every year because of extremely low temperatures in the stratosphere, contributing to ozone depletion. In the Arctic, temperatures vary much more, and in the stratosphere is always warmer than over Antarctica.
"Despite the fact that this year's winter in the Arctic at the surface was warmer than usual, it was colder in the stratosphere than the average for the Arctic winter," — the document says.
Freon is still here
Depletion of the ozone layer — the shield that protects life on Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation hard — going under the ozone in the atmosphere and very low (below 78 degrees Celsius) temperatures in the stratosphere. In these circumstances, the stratospheric clouds are formed, and cloud particles are chemical reactions that convert into active ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbon gases.
Back in the late 1980s, the use of ozone-harmful chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs — compounds that have been widely used in refrigeration, fire extinguishers, deodorants — were banned by the Montreal Protocol.
"Due to the long lifetime of these compounds in the atmosphere will take several decades before, when their concentration back to levels before the 1980's," — said the WMO.
As expected, the recovery of the ozone layer outside the polar regions to the levels that existed prior to 1980, there will be approximately 2030-2040, over Antarctica — about the years 2045-2060, and the Arctic — in a decade or two earlier.
"The loss of ozone in 2011 is proof that we need to be vigilant and closely monitor the situation in the Arctic in the coming years," — said the WMO Secretary General Michel Jarraud.