A large hole that appeared in the Earth’s protective ozone layer above the Arctic in 2011 was the largest recorded in the northern hemisphere. However scientists have stated that it is not man-made.
The ozone layer high in the stratosphere protects the planet from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation, which can cause skin cancer and cataracts. Since 1980’s the scientists have charted the size of the ozone hole every summer above the Antarctic.
The hole above the Arctic was smaller until the last March when a combination of intense cold temperatures high up in the atmosphere created ozone-eating chlorine chemicals to damage the layer.
The findings, reported on Monday in the journal Nature, show that the hole had opened over northern Russia, parts of Greenland, and Norway. This means that the people that live in those areas were exposed to high levels of UV radiation. The report’s authors said there was a risk that the spread of the Arctic hole could turn into an annual event. (AV)