For more than 20 years, changes in ozone over Antarctica have been carefully monitored by a succession of European satellites. This important long-term record is now being added to by the Copernicus Sentinel-5P mission, which is dedicated to atmospheric monitoring.
Protecting life on Earth from the Sun's harmful rays of ultraviolet radiation, the ozone layer is a very important, yet fragile, part of Earth's atmosphere.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the widespread use of damaging chlorofluorocarbons in products such as refrigerators and aerosol tins damaged ozone high up in our atmosphere. This depletion led to a hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica.
Thankfully, the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer led to the phase-out and controlled use of damaging substances, which has, in turn, allowed the ozone layer to heal significantly.