The southern jet stream is finally going back to normal as the ozone hole closes.

New Scientist has some uplifting news about the ozone hole. It’s fixing itself at last, and as it does so, the planet’s wind patterns are returning to normal:

Before 2000, a belt of air currents called the mid-latitude jet stream in the southern hemisphere had been gradually shifting towards the South Pole. Another tropical jet stream called the Hadley cell, responsible for trade winds, tropical rain-belts, hurricanes and subtropical deserts, had been getting wider.

Banerjee and her team found that both of these trends stopped and began to reverse slightly in 2000. This change couldn’t be explained by random fluctuations in climate, and Banerjee says they are a direct effect of the recovering ozone layer.

Despite the ban on ozone-depleting substances, these chemicals have very long lifetimes in the atmosphere, so full ozone recovery isn’t expected to take place for several decades.

Found via Nature, which also published the original research.