Briefs: Antarctic ozone hole smallest in five years

The Antarctica ozone hole is the smallest it has been in 5 years, according to research from Niwa, New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research. Satellite data combined with ground-base measurements show the hole reached a maximum area of about 22 million km² this year, compared with 24 million km² in 2009. This new information adds to a pattern of less severe ozone holes in recent years. The Antarctic ozone hole forms in August and September each year, then breaks up in November or December. The largest the hole ever recorded was in 2000, when it reached about 29 million km².