By NOAA Communications The 2023 Antarctic ozone hole reached its maximum size at 10 million square miles (26 million square kilometers) on September 21, which ranks as the 12th largest since 1979, according to annual satellite and balloon-based measurements made by NOAA and NASA.  During the peak of the ozone depletion season from September 7 to… Read More

This year’s measurements took some twists and turns as NOAA’s ozonesondes launched from the South Pole encountered somewhat surprising layers of higher ozone in the main depletion region, while simultaneously aligning with lower ozone above and below the 14-21km depletion region. (Reminder: the 14-21km layer is the primary region for ozone depletion.) That resulted in… Read More

By Patrick Cullis, NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory scientist Continue Casper and Peggy’s ozone adventure in this animated series exploring our atmosphere and the important role ozone plays in protecting all life on Earth. Part 2 covers the ozone layer and how it protects life on our planet from the Sun’s harmful effects! Video by Patrick… Read More

animated picture of a boy and girl in a hot air balloon with the title: Casper and Peggy’s Ozone Adventures, Episode 1: Ozone in the Atmosphere

By Patrick Cullis, NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory scientist As we track this year’s formation of the annual ozone hole above Antarctica, join Casper and Peggy in this four-part animated series as they explore our atmosphere and learn about the important role ozone plays in protecting all life on Earth. Part 1 covers ozone in the… Read More

By Patrick Cullis, NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory scientist  There were two more ozonesondes flown from the South Pole over the long weekend and both measured significantly more ozone, as it looks like the vortex is closing up and warmer air is mixing in over Antarctica.  On the October 9 ozone plot (above left), the red… Read More

By Bryan Johnson, NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory scientist  During September, NOAA’s South Pole balloon-borne ozonesondes showed a typical, rapid decline in ozone. Total column ozone dropped to 127 Dobson Units on September 27, a 53 percent loss compared to the August 10 profile measuring 272 Dobson Units.   The annual ozone hole begins when the rising… Read More

By Irina Petropavlovskikh, CIRES and NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory scientist   The 2023 Antarctic ozone hole is taking shape as we move into this year’s ozone depletion season. Stratospheric temperatures are staying cold (similar to temperatures at this time in 2022). The sun is rising quickly (since the September 21-22 equinox) and activating chlorine, which initiates… Read More

Faint light from the sun is visible on the horizon at the South Pole, across a vast stretch of snow with a row of flags across the forefront.

‘First bit of orange glow’ greets NOAA crew at South Pole By Karin Vergoth, Communications specialist at NOAA’s Global Monitoring Laboratory and the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at CU Boulder After six months of darkness, the return of the sun at the South Pole signals the arrival of spring in the Southern… Read More