New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: The largest hole in the Ozone layer spreading over 1 million square kilometres above the Arctic has closed due to unusual atmospheric conditions.

The hole was first identified by scientists in March earlier this year. Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and Copernicus Atmospheric Monitoring Services (CAMS) by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) confirmed the development.

Sharing a post on the micro-blogging website, Copernicus ECMWF wrote, "The unprecedented 2020 northern hemisphere #OzoneHole has come to an end. The #PolarVortex split, allowing #ozone-rich air into the Arctic, closely matching last week's forecast from the #CopernicusAtmosphere Monitoring Service."

But, the closing of the hole has nothing to do too with the reduction in levels of pollution amid lockdown. It's because of the polar vortex, high-altitude currents that are responsible for bringing cold air to polar regions.

Such holes in the ozone layer are quite common above the Antarctic at the South Pole especially during July to September but, the ozone layer hole above the Arctic at this time was unusual.

It is believed that the polar vortex, the high-altitude currents that are responsible for bringing cold air to the polar regions, is responsible for the healing of the layer.

The ozone layer works as a protective shield as it prevents Sun's ultraviolet rays-- which can cause skin cancer-- from entering Earth. The hole above the arctic circle could have posed severe damage to humans if it has increased to populated areas.

The Antarctic ozone hole is mainly caused by human-made chemicals including chlorine and bromine that migrate into the stratosphere – a layer of the atmosphere around 10–50 kilometers above sea level.

According to Copernicus, the last time similarly strong chemical ozone depletion was observed over the Arctic was during spring 2011.

Posted By: James Kuanal