Charlotte Edwards, Digital Technology and Science Reporter


THE large hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica has grown so big it's about the same size as the continent.


The hole reached one of its greatest and deepest recored sizes this year and a video released by the European Space Agency has revealed its magnitude.


The ozone hole over Antartica at its peak in 2020Credit: ESA / YouTube


"A detailed analyses from the German Aerospace Center indicates that the hole has now reached its maximum size."


The ozone layer is an important layer surrounding Earth that shield's us from the Sun's ultraviolet radiation.


The ozone hole in 2019 was smaller Credit: NASA Goddard/ Katy Mersmann


Ozone itself is actually a molecule that is floating in the atmosphere and is grouped together in the layer.


The peak size of the ozone hole in 2020 is strikingly different from last year when the peak size of the hole was actually the smallest since records began.


Vincent-Henri Peuch, Director of Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service at ECMWF, said: "There is much variability in how far ozone hole events develop each year.”


"The 2020 ozone hole resembles the one from 2018, which also was a quite large hole, and is definitely in the upper part of the pack of the last 15 years or so.


"With the sunlight returning to the South Pole in the last weeks, we saw continued ozone depletion over the area. ”


2020's peak size was recorded at 25 million square kilometres (about 9.6 million square miles) on October 2.


The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty that was put in place in 1989 that aimed to phase out harmful manmade ozone destroying chemicals that could be found in things like refrigerators and sprays.


The largest hole size recorded was actually 29.9 million square kilometre back in 2000.


Strong polar winds and unusually stratospheric temperatures have thought to have been a set back for ozone hole progress this year.


Climate change explained


Here are the basic facts...


Scientists have lots of evidence to show that the Earth’s climate is rapidly changing due to human activity


Climate change will result in problems like global warming, greater risk of flooding, droughts and regular heatwaves


The Earth only needs to increase by a few degrees for it to spell disaster


The oceans are already warming, polar ice and glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising and we’re seeing more extreme weather events


In 2015, almost all of the world's nations signed a deal called the Paris Agreement which set out ways in which they could tackle climate change and try to keep temperatures below 2C.


In other news, the past decade has seen the Atlantic Ocean see its hottest temperatures in almost three thousand years.


An unprecedented 'mega-tsunami' could be caused by a melting Alaska glacier, scientists have warned.


And, whales, dolphins and porpoises are facing 'imminent' extinction, according to over 350 experts.