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Ozone update.

Every fall, the hole in Earth's ozone layer (protective gas in the upper atmosphere) opens wide. This year's hole was nearly the size of North America--35 percent larger than in 2002, when it shrank and split in two. But scientists remain convinced that the ozone hole will slowly disappear.

"Ozone holes should be smaller by the time today's teens are in their mid to late 20s," says scientist Craig Long of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That's thanks to a law in 1987 banning chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), or ozone-chewing chemicals, from aerosol cans and refrigerators. CFCs released before the ban have hovered above Earth's icy poles for decades before finally breaking down. An unusual cold spell in Antarctica this year sped up ozone depletion.--N.F.
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Title Annotation:Short Take
Publication:Science World
Date:Nov 17, 2003
Words:126
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