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WMO Admits Ozone Hole ‘Third Largest Ever’

Posted by feww on October 29, 2015


WMO, the UN’s climate and weather organization, reported today a record-size Antarctic Ozone Hole (AOH); however, it said there was no cause for alarm as it should shrink again!

[Be sure to familiarize yourself with the AOH narrative. See links to blog posts on the subject listed below—Ed.]

WMO Antarctic Ozone Bulletin no. 4, 2015

The area of the region where total ozone is less than 220 DU, the so-called “ozone hole area”, averaged over the 30 worst consecutive days has reached 26.9 million square kilometres according to data from NASA. This places 2015 as the third largest ozone hole on record according to this criterion. One has to go back to 2006 and to 2000 to find a larger ozone hole area for this time period. A stable and large vortex, concentric around the south pole and characterised by low temperatures explains why 2015 experiences the largest ozone hole since 2006. […]

Antarctic ozone hole 2015
The figure shows the partial ozone column between 12 and 20 km altitude above the South Pole station. This is measured with electrochemical ozonesondes launched on balloons from the ground. The small light blue dots show all observations done from 1991 to 2014. The medium blue circles show the measurements from 2006, the year that saw the most severe ozone hole on record. The orange diamonds show data from 2015. Although the 2015 minimum is not as low as in 2006, the 2015 observations still show some of lowest partial columns measured throughout the history of the Antarctic ozone hole. This figure has been provided by Bryan Johnston and Kirk Thoning at the Global Monitoring Division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Source: WMO Antarctic Ozone Bulletin no. 4, 2015.

On 5th August the NAT area reached a maximum for the season with 28.2 million km2, which is higher than the maximum reached in recent years. One has to go back to 2009 to find a higher PSC area maximum (28.4 million km2). Also in September and so far in October, the NAT area has been well above the long-term mean. Since mid October, the NAT area has oscillated around the long term maximum for this time of the year.

WMO Antarctic Ozone Bulletin no. 4, 2015 (PDF Download Available). Available from: [accessed Oct 29, 2015].

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