Washington: The first significant ozone hole above the Antarctic is now as big as North America, scientists have claimed. Spanning about 25 million square kilometers, the ozone hole over the South Pole reached its maximum annual size on September 14, becoming the fifth largest on record, they said. The largest Antarctic ozone hole ever recorded occurred in 2006, at a size of 27.5 million square km, a size documented by Nasa’s Earth-observing Aura satellite , LiveScience reported.
The Antarctic ozone hole was first discovered in the late 1970s by the first satellite mission that could measure ozone, a spacecraft called POES and run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The hole has continued to grow steadily during the 1980s and 90s, though since early 2000 the growth reportedly leveled off.