Arctic ozone levels hit record low in March

Analysis of satellite observations shows that the level of ozone in the Arctic reached a record low in March, NASA researchers said. Ozone levels reached their lowest point on March 12 at 205 Dobson units. The depletion was caused by unusually weak events of the upper atmospheric waves from December 2019 to March this year.

“” With regard to the general state of the ozone layer, this is a concern since ozone levels in the Arctic are usually high in March and April, ”said Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth sciences at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Ozone is a highly reactive molecule consisting of three oxygen atoms, which naturally occurs in small quantities. The stratospheric ozone layer, which is located about 11-40 km above the Earth’s surface, acts as a sunscreen that absorbs ultraviolet radiation, which is dangerous for living things.

These waves travel upward from the mid-latitude of the lower atmosphere to interrupt the circumpolar winds that revolve around the Arctic. When they destroy polar winds, they capture ozone from other parts of the stratosphere with them, restoring the reservoir over the Arctic.