Ozone hole over half of Antarctica

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WELLINGTON (AFP) - A hole in the earth's ozone layer covers nearly half of Antarctica and is getting bigger, an American pilot who flew scientific missions over the continent said yesterday. James Barrilleaux said the hole is about 12 million square miles in area. The latest satellite pictures from the region show about 50 per cent of the ozone was gone and the problem would get worse before improving.

Mr Barrilleaux is visiting New Zealand to explain the National Aeronautic and Space Administration's atmosphere research programme. In 1987 he flew in a modified U2 spy plane on the first scientific mission to investigate the ozone hole.