As titled. How does the hole fell specifically on that region of the stratosphere above the Antarctic and why?

  • $\begingroup$ The basics are at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ozone_depletion#Location_of_hole $\endgroup$
    – GremlinWranger
    Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 11:54
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    $\begingroup$ Short answer: Ozone in the stratosphere is created by sunlight. Ozone isn't created in regions where the Sun doesn't shine, and that would be areas near the poles during winter. Ozone is destroyed by chemical reactions that are more likely to occur in very, very cold regions, and that too would be areas near the poles. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 18:58
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    $\begingroup$ The observation of the Earth by orbiting satellites is on-topic here. Earth observation is one of the key reasons for space exploration. I regretfully have some level of expertise on this topic; I wrote the software that at least one person claimed has as one of the 10 historical software bugs with extreme consequences, and that software would be the software that failed to detect the ozone hole from space. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 10, 2021 at 19:06
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    $\begingroup$ @DavidHammen that deserves a question of its own: Why did it take so long to notice that the ozone layer had holes in it? Which satellite provided the data? $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Commented Jan 11, 2021 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


Mostly temperature, leakage of CFCs(Chlorofluorocarbons), produced for early model refrigeration units thinned the ozone layer a bit all over the world but in Antarctica, and to a lesser extent over Scandinavia, CFCs were frozen into winter snowfall rather than effecting the ozone layer equally year round. Small amounts of ozone damage regenerated reasonably quickly, I understand the reaction is self catalysing but I'm not sure of that, but the flood of CFCs evaporating with the summer thaw in colder climates overwhelmed the natural increase and thus the massive hole down south. The Arctic isn't as badly effected due to the combination of fact that much of the melting ice turns to water which absorbs much of the CFC burden, continental Antarctica sees more ablation in summer months than melting, and the fact that global air currents concentrated much of the pollutant matter south of the equator in the first place.


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