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Ozone hole includes a city for the first time
In 2000, the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica stretched over a populated city for the first time, after ballooning to a new record size. For two days, Sept. 9-10, the hole extended over the southern Chile city of Punta Arenas, exposing residents to very high levels of ultraviolet radiation. Too much UV radiation can cause skin cancer and destroy tiny plants at the beginning of the food chain. Previously, the hole had only opened over Antarctica and the surrounding ocean. Data from the U.S. space agency NASA showed the hole covered 11.4 million square miles — an area more than three times the size of the United States.