Earth’s Protective Ozone Layer Is Reportedly Healing, Says UN Report

09 Novembre, 2018, 11:02 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • The ozone layer has partially protected Antarctica from climate change

The depletion of the amount of ozone in the atmosphere has been observed since the late 1970s and resulted in a global phase out of various chemicals spearheaded by the 1987 Montreal Protocol. But it could have been worse given that colder-than-average temperatures created the ideal conditions to destroy the ozone in the Antarctic stratosphere, NOAA reported.NOAA and NASA scientists credit the Montreal Protocol for preventing the hole from growing. While the report doesn't speak relative to other potentially hazardous substances, however, it becomes clear that the ozone layer and its protection are still at a high enough level of priority to environmental protection worldwide.

Earth's protective ozone layer protects us from ultraviolet rays which cause skin cancer, crop damage and other problems.

The region of the ozone layer protecting the northern hemisphere and the mid-latitudes is expected to completely heal by the 2030s.

The emission of pollution containing chemicals such as chlorine and bromine has caused the ozone layer to deplete.

The study showed a rate of recovery in the region of 1 to 3-percent since the year 2000.

"These new assessment results highlight the importance of continued long-term monitoring of HFCs (the hydrofluorocarbon chemicals used for cooling and refrigeration) in the atmosphere as the Kigali Amendment begins to take hold", David Fahey, co-chair of the Montreal Protocol Scientific Assessment Panel, said. It's a big deal since 10 percent of the upper ozone layer was gone in the 1990s, Newman told CNBC.

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However, while most of the banned gases have been phased out, the report found at least one violation of the protocol: an unexpected increase in production and emissions of CFC-11 from eastern Asia since 2012.

The ozone layer is showing signs of continuing recovery from man-made damage and is likely to heal fully by 2060, new evidence shows.

Scientists don't know how much a healed ozone hole will further warm Antarctica, but they do know the immediate effects of ozone depletion on the world and human health, so "it would be incredibly irresponsible not to do this", Salawitch said.

The replacements that are now being used to cool cars and refrigerators have to be replaced themselves with some chemicals that will not be worsening the global warming.

The 2018 Assessment is the latest in a series of assessments prepared by the world's leading experts in the atmospheric sciences and under the auspices of the Montreal Protocol in coordination with the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment).

"I don't think we can do a victory lap until 2060", Newman said.

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