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WASHINGTON—The ozone hole over Antarctica shrank to its smallest peak since 1988, NASA said Thursday.
The huge hole in Earth’s protective ozone layer reached its maximum this year in September, and this year NASA said it was 19.6 million square kilometres. The hole size shrinks after mid-September.
This year’s maximum hole is more than twice as big as the United States, but it’s 3.4 million square kilometres less than last year and 8.5 million square kilometres smaller than 2015.
Paul Newman, chief Earth scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said stormy conditions in the upper atmosphere warmed the air and kept chemicals chlorine and bromine from eating ozone. He said scientists haven’t quite figured out why some years are stormier …