Science policy

NASA: Ozone layer hole shrinks to smallest size since discovery

A NASA image of the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica.
A map of the hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica on Oct. 20. Photo: NASA

The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica has shrunk to the smallest size since it was discovered by scientists in the 1980s, NASA said in a statement this week.

Yes, but: "It’s not a sign that atmospheric ozone is suddenly on a fast track to recovery," said Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, in the statement. It's important to recognize that what "we’re seeing this year is is due to warmer stratospheric temperatures," he said.

Trump to lay out an AI plan

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

In a move aimed squarely at China's swift rise in artificial intelligence, President Trump plans to sign an executive order Monday to strengthen the U.S.'s global position in AI competition.

Why it matters: Two years ago, Beijing launched a mammoth effort to turn China into a global torchbearer for emerging technologies. Trump's new order appears to be the beginnings of an American response — but it's light on details and carries no resources to back it up.