Solar Events

Ozone Layer Depletion

A natural layer of ozone in the upper atmosphere absorbs harmful UV radiation from the sun, so any ozone layer depletion poses an increased health hazard. The “ozone hole” centered roughly over the south pole is a recent development (known since about 1979) believed due to particular forms of manmade pollution.

The area of the hole varies with the seasons, usually reaching a maximum around September.

This year (2006) the maximum area occurred on September 24th, being 11.4 million square miles. This was the highest area yet measured, equalling that on September 9, 2000.

NASA specialist Newman said earlier this year:

“The Antarctic ozone hole will reach sizes on the order of 8-10 million square miles nearly every year until about 2018 or so. Around 2018, things should slowly start improving, and somewhere between 2020 and 2025, we’ll be able to detect that the ozone hole is actually beginning to decrease in size. Eventually the ozone hole will go back to its normal level around 2070.”

Thus this years hole is bigger than expected, which suggests that the worldwide threat from the sun needs to be taken increasingly seriously. Maybe everyone should become much more aware of possible sun protection measures, to prevent any increased risk of sun poisoning.

Sun protection cremes and clothing are rated with a sun protection factor, or SPF, and every day there is a wider range of products and devices available.

1 Comment so far

  1. mariah March 30th, 2007 3:41 am

    I like and agree with this article. But, I would like to see more expantion on the sun protection creams and clothing. As a very easily burning person, I worry about my poor sun protection during activities such as outdoor sports where sun block is both unpractical, unefficent (sweats off), and uncomfertable. Any suggestions?

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