"GENEVA -- The World Meteorological Organisation said Wednesday that the ozone hole is expected to be smaller in 2009 than a year ago.
'The meteorological conditions observed so far could indicate that the 2009 ozone hole will be smaller than those of 2006 and 2008 and close to that of 2007,' said the UN agency in a statement.
The hole in the layer over the Antarctic was discovered in the 1980s. It regularly tends to form in August, reaching a maximum size late September or early October before it fills again in December.
The size is dependent on weather conditions.
This year the hole began forming "earlier than before" said WMO's expert on the ozone Geir Braathen.
On September 16, it stood at 24 million square kilometers, he said."
AFP had the story September 16, 2009.