The hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica is affecting the temperature in the Southern Hemisphere and the rate of tree growth.
Ozone depletion has led to dryer and warmer conditions in western Tasmania, New Zealand and Patagonia. Researchers studied tree ring records of more than 3,000 trees from these areas. It was discovered the growth patterns differed substantially in the years between 1950 and 2000, from the 250 years previous.
They were found to be growing at a faster rate in the sub-alpine forests of Tasmania and New Zealand which could mean a higher risk of bushfire. In the dry-mesic forests of Patagonia, trees were growing more slowly which could result in drought-induced tree mortality.