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    The ozone layer

    The seasonal hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic has shrunk this year but still covers an area roughly the size of North America, according to US experts. The ozone layer -- which helps protect the Earth from ultraviolet rays that can cause skin cancer and cataracts -- began developing holes in the 1980s due to chlorofluorocarbons once used in refrigerants and aerosol cans. Nearly 200 nations are taking part in UN climate talks in Qatar to review commitments to cutting Earth-warming greenhouse gas emissions, which affect the Ozone. VIDEOGRAPHIC