The latest ESA Earth Observation data show that reports of the demise of the ozone hole appearing annually above Antarctica have been greatly exaggerated.
Chlorine activation measured by MIPAS over the South Pole, 25 Sept. 2003
Comparative ozone hole areas, measured by GOME and MIPAS
The ozone hole is normally at its largest in September, but 2002 saw it at its smallest extent for more than a decade: 40% down on previous years. And a year ago yesterday ongoing satellite measurements of ozone - gathered by the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute (KNMI) from the Global Ozone Monitoring Experiment (GOME) instrument on ESA’s ERS-2 satellite - showed it splitting in two.
“Using GOME we have gathered global stratospheric ozone data over the last eight years,” said Henk Eskes of KNMI. “And last year we were actually able to accurately predict the split a few days before it happened, as we were operating an ozone forecasting service.”
Claus Zehner | ESA
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