The animation in the middle is a timed sequence of ten individual images illustrating the development of the ozone hole over the year 1996. The image on the right shows the far less stable ozone hole of the northern hemisphere. The low ozone concentration near the equator is a natural phenomenon caused by the atmosphere's global dynamic circulation.
The same basic data are conventionally processed in satellite images to show thinning of the stratospheric ozone layer by color coding the various concentrations of ozone in such a way that their relative distribution is evident, such as offered by DFD's ATMOS User Center (AUC). This is a useful representation for many scientific studies concerned with the structure and dynamics of the ozone layer. But the wealth of information contained in libraries of satellite data can increasingly be made available to open completely new perspectives about our planet to many other groups, thanks to modern, powerful computers and innovative data processing approaches. The right visualization of the same set of measurements can in one case give new impulses to basic research, in another increase public sensitivity to the state of our planet, or even improve understanding of political and economic issues. Making the right choice is an increasingly important task for experts who know the possibilities inherent in data processing and the concerns of each particular user community.