Posted: 6:18 PM 2/5/13
NOAA and NASA are both reporting that the ozone hole was the smallest in 20 years. However, it wasn't because of improving emissions, but rather warmer air. The air in the atmosphere above Antarctica was warmer than normal and therefore the ozone didn't deplete as much. This year's hole reached a maximum of 8.2 million square miles, roughly the area of North America.
The Antarctic ozone hole forms in September and October every year and has been doing so since the early 1980s. The cause of the hole is chlorine released by manmade chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs. Since then, the largest ozone hole recorded to date was at 11.5 million square miles in 2000.
While this year's achievement is a step in the right direction, it won't be until 2060 before we have a full recovery.
You can read the entire report from NOAA here.