- WEB EXCLUSIVE
- PE COFFEEHAUS
"Although the hole is somewhat smaller than usual, we cannot conclude from this that the ozone layer is recovering already," said Ronald van der A, a senior project scientist at the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute in the Netherlands.
The hole generally fluctuates during the year, getting to be larger in September and October but recovering by the New Year. Researchers point out that they are not sure if this year's measurements mean the radiation-blocking ozone layer is healing.
The ozone layer has continued to thin even though chemicals believed to cause such destruction, particularly chlorofluorocarbons, have been banned since it was noted in 1985. The layer helps block ultraviolet radiation, which has been shown to increase health risks such as skin cancer and cataracts.