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Environment: Unprecendented ozone loss above Arctic

Arctic ozone vanished at an unprecedented rate in the winter of 2010-2011.

Stratospheric cold snap led to depletion of protective gas last winter

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — An unusually long-lasting cold snap in the stratosphere above the Arctic last winter caused an unprecedented depletion of the Earth’s protective ozone layer, according to the results of NASA-led study published Oct. 2 in Nature.

The researchers found the amount of ozone destroyed in the Arctic in 2011 was comparable to that seen in some years in the Antarctic, where an ozone “hole” has formed each spring since the mid 1980s. The stratospheric ozone layer, extending from about 15 to 35 kilometers above the surface, protects life on Earth from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Continue reading

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