Ozone hole

Posted: 22 August 2000

A region of the atmosphere over Antarctica where, during spring in the southern hemisphere, about half the atmospheric ozone disappears. The Ozone layer protects the earth's surface from the effects of excess ultraviolet radiation. However, the growth in the volume and use of ozone-destroying chemicals, such as CFCs, has depleted the layer, allowing greater amounts of ultraviolet radiation to pass through to the earth's surface, raising fears of the increased occurrence of skin cancer, eye damage and genetic mutation in terrestrial organisms. (Recently scientists have decreases of 10-20 per cent in ozone over the Arctic).