Weather and climate change experts from the Essex Metereological Institute have confirmed that a massive hole in the Ozone Layer has been spotted directly above Essex – they have also confirmed that there is a 95% possibility that the discovery explains why 2016 temperatures in the county have been so high. 

Dr Ian Sobar of the EMI met with Southend News Network’s Chief Reporter to explain why the county’s residents should be concerned about the findings in their latest report. 

He said: ‘We undertake monthly satellite surveillance that allows us to draw a map of the entire Ozone Layer across the United Kingdom, and over the last eight months we have noticed that what started as a ‘small variance’ above Essex has now developed into a full-blown hole.’

‘Damage to the Ozone Layer is caused by the release of harmful gases including carbon dioxide, and we compared ownership rates for polluting vehicles in Essex to the rest of the UK – the results are worrying.’

‘Essex has a reputation for big exhausts and huge engine sizes on modified vehicles, and it appears that this ‘need for speed’ has now come back to haunt the county. In particular, we analysed the flows of thermal pollutants from the South Essex coast where the majority of cruise meets take place. It came as no surprise when we saw that this micro-area is causing the highest level of damage.’

‘We should praise Southend Borough Council for taking solid action to prevent high-density gatherings of modified car enthusiasts. It is clear that they have only resorted to this measure to try and slow the growth of this hole in the Ozone Layer.’

We asked Dr Sobar what the hole will mean for the people of Essex in the short term. He made it clear that there is plenty for residents to be concerned about. 

He added: ‘We are taking regular UV levels across the county, and they don’t make very pleasant reading. There has been very little snow in the last five years because the gap in the layer has let an extraordinary amount of heat through, and before long Southend On Sea will be hotter than Dubai for nine months of the year.’

A spokesperson for Southend Borough Council confirmed that measures have now been taken to try and slow the growth of the hole in the Ozone Layer. 

He said: ‘We are proud to say that a number of electricity points are now available across the town for people using battery powered cars. Also, by scrapping the Airshow, we have managed to reduce Southend-based emissions by more than 65% percent.’