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Science & Technology

Hole in ozone layer is healing, study shows

January 9, 2018 | Comment icon 8 comments



The ozone layer appears to be on the mend. Image Credit: NASA / Terry Virts
There has been a distinct reduction in the level of ozone-destroying chemicals in the Earth's atmosphere.
Situated high up in the planet's stratosphere, the ozone layer is a special region which helps to protect the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation coming from the Sun.

Scientists first noticed that it appeared to be thinning above Antarctica back in the 1980s, a worrying trend that was linked to the presence of CFCs (Chlorofluorocarbons) in hair sprays, refrigerators, air conditioning systems and other similar products.

The discovery that these chemicals were responsible for depleting the ozone layer led to a significant reduction in the manufacture and use of CFCs in the hope that this would slow down or even reverse the damage that they had been causing.

As luck would have it, it now appears as though these efforts have genuinely paid off.
In a new study, NASA scientists measuring the level of chlorine (the main CFC byproduct of ozone depletion) in the atmosphere above Antarctica have revealed that there has been a 20% reduction in the level of ozone layer depletion due to chlorine between 2005 and 2016.

The data was recorded by the Microwave Limb Sounder (MLS) instrument aboard the Aura satellite.

Previous research had focused on measuring the ozone hole itself, making this the first study to identify a reduction in ozone depletion as a direct result of a reduction in CFC chemicals.

While it is likely to take several decades for the damage to repair completely, the news that the ozone layer really is on the mend is certainly encouraging.

Source: Space.com | Comments (8)



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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by White Unicorn 4 years ago
Years ago when this was first discovered, I remember that NASA was experimenting with adding chemicals to see if they could encourage the repair to the ozone layer.  I was very surprised  that this article didn't say if it was effected by such a experiments. 
Comment icon #2 Posted by Dark_Grey 4 years ago
Canada just implemented a "carbon tax" across all Provinces (approx $1000/year, per family). I was angry at first but now I can see it's already paying off! And they said a drama teacher couldn't lead the country 
Comment icon #3 Posted by aztek 4 years ago
co2 does not make holes in ozone, i would think it has more to do with us stop using cfc refrigerants in mid 90s. and cfc based aerosol sprays with numerous consumer products
Comment icon #4 Posted by mindpurge 4 years ago
No he can't lead, and the carbon tax is a sham. Look, Canada's PM is literally the biggest joke on the planet right now, I'm a proud Canadian and I can still admit that our PM is a joke. Explain to me how a "carbon tax" fixes ANYTHING. The money they collect is just another tax, it's not repairing anything. The Liberals are corrupt beyond recognition... Look at the minimum wage hike in Ontario and how detrimental it is simply as of January 1st 2018, and it's going to get so much worse. Forecasters are predicting 60,000 to 136,000 jobs will be lost, I know this is provincial but it goes hand in... [More]
Comment icon #5 Posted by Doug1029 4 years ago
About the carbon tax:  it could be turned into an effective program if ALL the money were returned to the citizens on a per capita basis to spend as they see fit.  Carbon taxes are only half-a-solution.  They make carbon-containing products cost more, but unless that money goes directly back to the citizens, it has little effect on the market.  It is the market we want to influence. Most carbon taxes function like a sales tax - the purchaser pays it at the check-out counter.  But that way a lot of carbon evades the tax.  Gas that leaks from pipelines isn't taxed.  Carbon lost in refining gasol... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by mindpurge 4 years ago
Nope, sorry, you are 100% wrong about the job creation. Many minimum wage workers have noted that they actually received MORE money before the wage hike, look at Tim Hortons workers as an example. Prior to the wage hike, an employee would receive paid breaks and paid lunch. Now, none of their breaks are paid and neither is their lunch. So they lose an entire hour. The wage hike was simply for the Ontario Liberals to gain votes from people that do not do their research, which is most, like you. I haven't heard a single economist forecast positive gains from it, actually it's the complete opposi... [More]
Comment icon #7 Posted by SyntheticBrilliance 4 years ago
I'll trade up Trudeau for Trump, no problemo. I understand you might not know the current state of things, but he's not really all he's cracked up to be.  He cut taxes across the board, but I'm not sure if you were aware, the tax plan has a 5 year roll up. So, while it makes out great for everyone in years one and two, but the end of year 5 where special exemptions for folks owning private jets, vineyards, etc get additional tax cuts. As well as the estate tax phasing out over 5 years, the average american worker, middle and lower class alike will be seeing a tax rate on their wages much highe... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by Vilasarius 4 years ago
I'm glad research was done decades ago to reverse this situation as well as proper countermeasures implemented.


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