Science & Technology
Ozone layer could be fully healed by the 2060s
By T.K. Randall
November 6, 2018 · 21 comments
It's good news all round for the Earth's ozone layer. Image Credit: NASA / Terry Virts
The protective layer is improving so rapidly that it could heal itself entirely within as little as 50 years.
The news comes courtesy of a new United Nations report which has hailed the ozone's recovery as an example of what can be achieved when the world works together to tackle environmental issues.
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 it turns out, these efforts were not in vain.
"Evidence presented by the authors shows that the ozone layer in parts of the stratosphere has recovered at a rate of 1-3 percent per decade since 2000," the UN wrote.
By the 2030s, the ozone layer is expected to have fully healed over the Northern Hemisphere and by the 2060s, the rest of the world - including Antarctica - should also see full ozone recovery as well.
"The Montreal Protocol (which was responsible for decreasing ozone-depleting chemicals) is one of the most successful multilateral agreements in history for a reason," said the UN's Erik Solheim.
"The careful mix of authoritative science and collaborative action that has defined the Protocol for more than 30 years and was set to heal our ozone layer is precisely why the Kigali Amendment (which aims to decrease global warming) holds such promise for climate action in future."
Source: United Nations
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