In winter and in spring, chemical reactions take place in Antarctica that destroy ozone. The sun does not reach the South Pole in winter, and an air current forms around the pole - a polar vortex - trapping the air. This causes man-made chlorofluorocarbons that arrive in the stratosphere to become concentrated because they cannot get out. The vortex also forms clouds. In the spring, when abundant sunlight returns to Antarctica, chemical reactions take place on the surface of the stratospheric clouds, breaking down chlorofluorocarbons into chlorine and bromine atoms, which are deadly to ozone. This is an example of the "thinning" of the ozone layer that we hear so much about.
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