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Why is the Ozone Hole Getting Smaller? - NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Earth's protective ozone layer on road to recovery: UN panel

Scott Sutherland
Meteorologist/Science Writer

Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 8:00 PM - Twenty-seven years after the world's governments signed the Montreal Protocol - the international treaty to ban ozone depleting CFCs - a UN panel is reporting that the ozone layer is showing signs of recovery.

The above video shows the ozone layer minimums - the point in the year when the hole in the ozone layer reaches its largest expanse - between the years 1979 and 2013.

As the accompanying graph reveals, although ozone minimums reached lower and lower each year, even after the Montreal Protocol was signed, these minimum values "leveled off" starting around the year 2000. Also, in the past few years, there have been signs of slow recovery. 

According to NASA's Earth Observatory: "If nations continue to follow the guidelines of the Montreal Protocol, the UNEP/WMO report notes, ozone levels over most of the globe should recover to 1980 levels by 2050. The ozone hole over the South Pole will take longer to recover, ending by 2070."

The animation below, using data from NASA's Aura satellite, shows the peak size of the Antarctic ozone hole over just the past 10 years, including 2006, when it recorded the largest ozone hole on record.

Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

Looking for Ozone Updates? NASA and NOAA report Antarctic Ozone Hole remains steady for 2014

Sources: NASA Earth Observatory | NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center | The Ozone Hole

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