Ozone Hole 2009 – Bigger than North America – 24 million sq km

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I’m not doing a full article on this year’s Antarctic ozone hole but you should know that the maximum size appears to have peaked at 24 million sq km, less than the 2006 record year 27 million sq km. Although some media reported this as a downward trend, it is too soon to say because ozone depletion is a complicated process and affected by local weather conditions.

Chilean Children Warned to Stay Indoors

The hole moves and shifts overhead like a unseen gigantic amoeba and on Oct 9 officials in southern Chile warned residents that the hole had extended itself over Punta Arenas and warned children to stay indoors and avoid exposure to the very hi-level UV rays.

Children hiding indoors during the day at the southern tip of Chile could have been the fate for much of the planet without the Montreal Protocol treaty 21 years ago to eliminate some of the ozone destroying chemicals used in deodorants and refrigerants.

This ought to be crucial cautionary tale for climate change.

Some of my previous articles on ozone:

Skin Would Fry in 5 Mins Without Ozone Treaty says NASA – Precautionary Lesson for Climate

Monster Ozone Hole (Again) – But your skin would fry in 3 mins without 20-yr old Ozone Treaty

*Skin Cancer Rising Despite New Ozone Deal to Cut CO2 Emissions

*Ozone Hole is Back and Bigger Than Ever

Skin Cancer Rising Despite New Ozone Deal to Cut CO2 Emissions

Ozone Deal to Cut Down CO2 Emissions

By Stephen Leahy

MONTREAL, Sep 23’07 (IPS) – More than 190 nations agreed this week to combat global warming and accelerate the healing of the ozone layer, although critics say more could have been accomplished.

The sun shone bright and warm here on Friday, the final day of the 19th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer. Outside, caravans of pre-school children in strollers or holding hands as they walked sported hats and long-sleeved shirts to protect their delicate skin.

It can be easy to forget that the sun was not always so dangerous, and that modern society is responsible for putting chemicals into the atmosphere that continue to destroy the ozone layer that protects all life from harmful levels of solar ultraviolet radiation.

[UPDATE: Sept 2009 — Ozone Treaty May Hold Key to Halting Climate Change;

— Ozone Hole 2009 – Bigger than North America – 24 million sq km]]

And we forget that things could have been far worse without international action in the form of the Montreal Protocol, which opened for signature 20 years ago this week.

Sadly, that action came late and was not vigorous enough for millions of people who have or will get skin cancer. Continue reading

Ozone Hole is Back and Bigger Than Ever

ozone-hole-sept-16-2007-sml.jpgThe World Meteorological Organization is reporting this week that the hole is back and bigger than ever. And it could grow larger in as spring returns to the region. In the past two years ozone holes larger than Europe have opened over the Antarctic and Southern Ocean.

The hole and the entire ozone layer and life on Earth would be in far worse shape if not for the The Montreal Protocol.

See also my stories on ozone and Montreal Protocol:

Ozone Treaty Best Bet to Slow Climate Change

From 2006:

Skin Cancer and the Record-breaking Antarctic Ozone Hole
60 Years to Restore the Ozone Layer Over Antarctica