The 2006 ozone hole was the largest on record. The holes are beginning to get a bit smaller; the 2012 and 2013 holes were relatively small.
Why It Matters
- CFCs take 50 to 100 years to break down so the ozone layer won’t recover until the end of the century.
- Atmospheric chlorine (which breaks off from the CFC molecules) might reach the values of the 1960s in the middle of the century.
- There is also depletion of ozone in the Arctic and globally.
With the links below, learn more about the future of the ozone layer. Then answer the following questions.
- AMNH, Science Bulletins: Ozone’s Slow Recovery (video, no audio): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZWrSr7c09k
- ESA, Is the Ozone Layer on the Road to Recovery? (webpage): http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Is_the_ozone_layer_on_the_road_to_recovery
- Why is ozone depletion more extreme in Antarctica?
- If the Montreal Protocol was signed in 1987, why is there still an ozone hole?
- What is predicted to happen to the ozone hole over the next several decades?
- What do you think would be the result of ozone depletion over the Arctic was the same as it is over Antarctica?