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Ozone hole at smallest size in decades

Warm Antarctic temperatures help preserve UV-protecting layer

5:22pm, October 26, 2012

There’s good news from Antarctica this fall: The seasonal hole in the ozone layer above the continent reached its smallest maximum extent and second smallest average in 20 years thanks to warm air temperatures.

Each September and October the ozone layer, which shields Earth from ultraviolet radiation from the sun, thins over the South Pole. On September 22, the ozone hole grew to its biggest seasonal size: 21.2 million square kilometers, an area slightly smaller than North America. That’s the smallest the ozone hole has been at its annua

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