A cold and stable Antarctic vortex supported the development of the 12th largest ozone hole on record in 2020. The hole reached its peak extent on September 20th at 24.8 million square kilometers.
Ozone-depleting compounds – CFCs – persist in the atmosphere for many decades, interacting with ozone molecules when conditions are favorable. CFCs were controlled by the Montreal Protocol in 1987. Overall, the ozone layer is recovering and we expect the hole to heal by the 2070s.
Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center