Antarctic ozone hole, September 1979

Antarctic ozone hole, September 1979

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Credit: NASA/GSFC-SVS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Antarctic ozone hole, 18 September 1979, colour-coded satellite image. The ozone levels are colour-coded, ranging from dark blue (low) through light blue and green to yellow (high). The ozone hole (dark blue) is at an annual maximum area here. Ozone (O3) absorbs dangerous ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. Atmospheric pollution by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and similar compounds (now banned) caused large decreases in ozone in the stratosphere over Antarctica. This ozone hole increased in size from the late 1970s to the early 21st century, peaking in 2006, but is now thought to have stabilised. Data from the Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) sensor.

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