Ozone hole continues shrinking in 2022, says NASA

The annual Antarctic ozone hole reached an average area of 23.2 million square kilometres between September 7 and October 13, 2022. NASA said that the depleted area of the ozone layer over the South Pole was slightly smaller than last year and generally continued the overall shrinking trend of recent years.

The ozone layer – the portion of the stratosphere that protects our planet from the Sun’s ultraviolet rays – thins to form an ozone hole above the South Pole every September.


Ozone (O3) is a highly reactive gas composed of three oxygen atoms. It is both a natural and a man-made product that occurs in the Earth’s upper atmosphere (the stratosphere) and lower atmosphere (the troposphere). Depending on where it is in the atmosphere, ozone affects life on Earth in either good or bad ways. Stratospheric ozone is formed naturally through the interaction of solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation with molecular oxygen (O2). The “ozone layer,” approximately 6 through 30 miles above the Earth’s surface, reduces the amount of harmful UV radiation reaching the Earth’s surface.