Ozone hits a new low

Scientists discover a major thinning in the protective atmosphere over Arctic

By Stephen Ornes, 15:47 PM October 19, 2011

Ozone

Scientists saw something missing in the skies over the North Pole this spring, and it wasn’t Santa or his reindeer. It was ozone — an invisible gas that protects Earth and everything on it from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.

The ozone’s thickest portion is high up in a section known as the stratosphere. The thickness of the ozone layer changes throughout the year; sometimes there’s more ozone and sometimes less. Scientists say that in the spring of 2011, there was less ozone high abo...

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