More protection: UN says Earth's ozone layer is healing
More protection: UN says Earth's ozone layer is healing
Image The banning of CFCs has helped to repair the ozone hole above Antarctica
09 November, 2018, 14:44
The ozone layer is a layer of the atmosphere which sits about 10 kilometres above the Earth's surface and protects life from ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. When the ozone layer is weakened, more UV rays can get through, making humans more prone to skin cancer, cataracts and other diseases.
This is due to internationally agreed actions carried out under the historic Montreal Protocol, which came into being over 30 years ago.
The earth's protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery, thanks to global efforts against ozone-depleting substances.
The Montreal Protocol was finalized in 1987 in response to the realization that numerous chemicals used in aerosols, air conditioning systems, refrigerators, and industrial solvents were eroding the planet's stratosphere, creating a hole and allowing harmful levels of ultraviolet radiation to seep through the ozone layer.
Paul Newman of Nasa, joint chairman of...
Thanks to these bans, the ozone layer has been able to recover at a small but mighty rate of three percent per decade, meaning it may be repaired by the time we reach the 2060s. "We stopped that", Paul Newman, a NASA scientist and co-chairman of the new United Nationsreport, told the AP. Scientists informed about this danger and the chemicals which weaken the ozone were gradually stopped being used in the whole world.
'If ozone-depleting substances had continued to increase, we would have seen huge effects.
"As a result of the Montreal Protocol much more severe ozone depletion in the polar regions has been avoided", the report said.
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But the report, from the UN's environment and world meteorological organisation, said there is evidence of an unexpected increase in CFC-11 from eastern Asia since 2012.
A United Nations study has revealed that the ozone layer is slowly recovering, and is even expected to be fully repaired by the 2060s.
Experts credit a 1987 treaty that banned ozone-depleting chemicals, as well as new technology, for the global environmental success story.
"It shows that the ozone layer is under fix, and highlights areas that must be strengthened for it to be an equally successful platform to phase out HFCs to limit global warming", said Shikha Bhasin, programme lead, Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW).
The Protocol is set to be strengthened in 2019 with the ratification of the Kigali Amendment which calls for the future use of powerful climate-warming gases in refrigerators, air conditioners and related products to be slashed.
'I don't think we can do a victory lap until 2060, ' he said.
So a healed ozone layer will worsen man-made climate change there a bit, Newman said.
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