10/12/2012

Tracking the Ozone Hole, as It Waxes and Wanes

Researchers at the South Pole release a balloon-borne instrument to measure ozone levels from the ground up to 20 miles high. Image courtesy of Christine Schultz, NOAA
Researchers at the South Pole release a balloon-borne instrument to measure ozone levels from the ground up to 20 miles high. Image courtesy of Christine Schultz, NOAA

Every August, the ozone hole begins to grow over Antarctica, reaching its maximum size by late September. But by the New Year, it’s gone again. Russell Schnell, of NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, explains the weird forces behind the ozone hole’s formation—and why, in recent years, an ozone hole has capped the Arctic too.

Segment Guests

Russell Schnell

Russell Schnell is a deputy director in the global marketing division of the Earth System Research Laboratory at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He is based in Boulder, Colorado.

Meet the Producers

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata is Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.

About Jon Chang

Jon Chang is a science reporter based in New York City. He also has an unhealthy obsession with math, even if he’s not very good at it.