United Nations, New York : Although the ozone layer over the Antarctic this year is relatively small, it is due to mild temperatures experienced in the region’s stratosphere this winter and is not a sign of global recovery, the U.N. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said Thursday.
Since 1998, only the ozone holes of 2002 and 2004 have been smaller than this year’s-both in area and amount of destroyed ozone-and this is not indicative of ozone recuperation, WMO said in a statement.
Instead, the situation is due to mild temperatures in the stratosphere, which still contains sufficient chlorine and bromine to completely destroy ozone in the 14-21 kilometer altitude range, WMO said.
The amount of gases that diminish ozone in the Antarctic stratosphere peaked in 2000. However, despite the decline in the amount by 1 percent annually, enough chlorine and bromine will be in the stratosphere for another one or two decades, which could result in severe ozone holes, WMO said.