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The year 2000s Antarctic ozone hole is the largest ever observed. Scientists continue to investigate the phenomenon, and are somewhat surprised by its scale. Using data from NASAs Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) instrument onboard the Earth Probe satellite, researchers can evaluate and compare current conditions over the south pole to readings taken by other instruments in years past. Continued monitoring of polar ozone levels helps researchers gain a better understanding of how the planets climate may be changing. This animation shows a huge section of the atmosphere around the south pole thats comparatively devoid of ozone. The gap reached a record size of 28.3 million kilometers squared on September 3, 2000. The previous record was 27.2 million square kilometers squared recorded on Sept. 19, 1998. Although current measurements of the ozone hole show that it has stabilized, low value points in the interior continue to decline. The lowest values are typically observed in the late September or early October.
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