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No. 51: May-Jun 1987

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Antarctic Ozone Hole Has Complex Structure

"One more mystery has been added to the seasonal loss of ozone in the stratosphere over Antarctica. It now appears that the 'hole' is an uneven one, with 2- to 3-kilometer-thick slices of ozone-poor air sandwiched within layers of only minimal depletion."

These new data came from McMurdo Sound, where a series of balloons carrying ozone sensors were released. Ozone depletion seems to be confined to the region 12-20 kilometers altitude and the top of the stratosphere. The overall depletion in this region was 35% at the time the balloons were lofted. However, some zones from 1 to 5 kilometers thick showed depletions as great as 90%. The reason for this stratificaiton is not yet known.

(Silberner, J.; "Layers of Complexity in Ozone Hole," Science News, 131:164, 1987.)

From Science Frontiers #51, MAY-JUN 1987. 1987-2000 William R. Corliss