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TOMS's image of ozone hole
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NASA

1996 Antarctic ozone hole below record average size
News story originally written on October 25, 1996

NASA's Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer instruments (TOMS) aboard NASA Earth Probe satellite and Japanese Advanced Earth-Observing Satellite (ADEOS) have detected substantial depletion of ozone levels over Antarctica.

The average size of the ozone hole over Antarctica has been alarmingly almost as large as in 1993, the year the ozone hole depletion peaked. However, ozone concentrations are higher than the record low values seen in September 1994.

The average size of the ozone hole during this year was 8.3 million square miles, similar to observations in the last four years. The largest observed average size of the ozone hole was in 1993, at 8.5 million square miles. This year the ozone hole reached a one-day peak size on Sept. 7, 1996, of about 10 million square miles, then quickly shrunk to values of less than 8.5 million square miles. The previous largest one-day peak size hole was 9.4 million square-miles on Sept. 27, 1992. In comparison, the surface area of North America is 8.1 million square-miles while Antarctica has a surface area of 5.4 million square-miles.


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