Why does the ozone hole form over Antarctica ?

ANITA

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The answer is essentially 'because of the weather in the ozone layer'. In order for rapid ozone destruction to happen, clouds (known as PSCs, Stratospheric Clouds Mother of Pearl or Nacreous Clouds) have to form in the ozone layer. In these clouds surface chemistry takes place. This converts chlorine or bromine (from CFCs and other ozone depleting chemicals) into an active form, so that when there is sunlight, ozone is rapidly destroyed. Without the clouds, there is little or no ozone destruction. Only during the Antarctic winter does the atmosphere get cold enough for these clouds to form widely through the centre of the ozone layer. Elsewhere the atmosphere is just too warm and no clouds form. The northern and southern hemispheres have different 'weather' in the ozone layer, and the net result is that the temperature of the Arctic ozone layer during winter is normally some ten degrees warmer than that of the Antarctic. This means that such clouds are rare, but sometimes the 'weather' is colder than normal and they do form. Under these circumstances significant ozone depletion can take place over the Arctic, but it is usually for a much shorter period of time and covers a smaller area than in the Antarctic. :kt0001:
 

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