Air chemists measuring the ozone depletion have found that 2011’s hole is the largest one ever, due to an unusually long cold spell.

Whenever we usually think about the ozone layer, the thought drifts to Antarctica, but the latest data suggests that the Arctic could be experiencing a severe depletion in the ultraviolet-blocking chemical too. We are talking about an area five times bigger than Germany, over which 80 percent of the ozone is depleted at 20 km over the ground.

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However, the good news (if we can talk about ‘good’) is that the magnitude of this hole has nothing to do with anthropic activity; the blame has rather been pinned on wind patterns at high altitude and the long lasting cold period.

There is such a strong pattern of ozone layers growing each year that research fear the a yearly record breaking ozone layers might become a habit.