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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999


Ozone-Hole Research in Australia

Item #d98sep36

In the story, “Ozone Hole Grows to Record Size,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported on Oct. 1, 1998, the text of which report is available on the Internet at, that scientists at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s Co-Operative Research Centre in Melbourne had announced the observation in mid-September of the largest ozone hole ever over the Southern Hemisphere. The area of the hole is more than 26 million km2, about three times the size of Australia. This size is about 6 million km2 larger than the previous year’s ozone hole, eclipsing the previous record of 24 million km2, which was set in 1994. In recent years, the annual ozone hole has averaged between 20 million and 22 million km2. The newspaper quoted Roger Atkinson, lead ozone researcher at the Centre, that global warming may be worsening the chemical reactions that destroy ozone in the stratosphere. “The very chemicals causing ozone depletion are also very strong greenhouse gases,” Dr. Atkinson said. “Ozone itself is very important in the climate balance, and so if we interfere with stratospheric ozone, we may well be interfering with the radiation balance of the atmosphere. Perhaps we are seeing the first evidence that the two phenomena, ozone depletion and climate change, may be interacting.”

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