The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica has reached a record size, but climate scientists say there’s still no cause for alarm.
The size of the ozone hole varies, the Guardian reports, but reached a record size on Oct. 2 of 10.9 million square miles as temperatures in the stratosphere plunged.
The ozone layer protects the Earth from the rays of the Sun, and last year was the first year that the World Meteorological Organization said it saw signs of ozone recovery.
“This shows us that the ozone hole problem is still with us and we need to remain vigilant,” World Meteorological Organization atmospheric and environment research division senior scientist Geir Braathen said. “But there is no reason for undue alarm… This does not reverse the projected long-term recovery in the coming decades.”
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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.Rogers@time.com