Well even the Pope would be proud of this. Apparently, despite the rampant piety of the USA (where half the country goes to church each week) and Mexico (where even the drug dealers are Catholic), it seems that Antarctica wins in the holiness stakes,
In a shocking announcement in the Auckland Herald, NASA says that this year's ozone hole was the 5th largest ever recorded. They even have a picture:
It seems that banning CFCs did no do the trick. It is possible that in fact we don't understand this phenomenon as well as we think. In fact there is not much in the way of reliable data before 1979 (about 20 years worth, from ground measurements) so we're not even sure what 'normal' is.
Greg Bodeker, Niwa principal scientist, told the Herald
the ozone hole was shrinking, but very slowly. He said the chemicals
that mostly depleted ozone, chlorine and bromine, were decreasing at
about 1 per cent a year but there were annual variations.
According to folklore, the ozone hole is a new thing and never happened before we started using fridges. We don't have data to prove it, so all we hope is that in fact the banning of CFCs will sort it out.
Well the ban has certainly reduced production:
Sadly the ozone hole does not appear to have noticed yet:
The other point is that this 1% per year reduction in the amount of chemicals is bogus. The variation swamps this data. We were originally told that CFCs could last for years in the stratosphere, perhaps 12 years, and the hole dropped ozone down by perhaps 70%. So you might hope to see a reduction in the ozone hole size by now. But nothing.
Perhaps it is just a natural thing?
Also please stop telling us that it has anything to do with sun strength. Apart from the fact that the ozeon hole closes up before summer, it isn't over New Zealand. Also, anything that the sun hits will absorb the rays, including Oxygen. Maybe we should pump lots of large molecules up into the stratosphere to soak up the rays? CO2 might work...