Friday, 16 November, 2018

Ozone layer to recover in 50 years

The ozone layer of the atmosphere will be repaired by 2020 Image The ozone layer of the atmosphere will be repaired by 2030
Cary Marshall | 08 November, 2018, 06:38

What is the ozone layer? .

Scientists discovered the the ozone layer, particularly over the Antarctic region and as far up as Australia, had depleted in the 1970s.

Referring to projected rates, the report says the northern hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone is "scheduled to heal completely by the 2030s followed by the southern hemisphere in the 2050s and polar regions by 2060".

Ozone is a layer that protects life on Earth from harmful layers of ultraviolet rays from the sun.

The hole has exposed us to strong ultra-violet light, which has in turn been linked to an increase in diagnoses for skin cancer, prompting severe bans on the manufacture of products featuring the damaging chemicals.

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, chief Earth scientist at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center, described the discovery as "really good news".

"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 holds such promise for climate action in future".

This is due to internationally agreed actions carried out under the historic Montreal Protocol, which came into being over 30 years ago.

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This year, the ozone hole over the South Pole peaked at almost 9.6 million square miles - which is still about 16% smaller than the biggest hole recorded.

The ozone layer starts about six miles above Earth.

The University of Colorado's Brian Toon, who wasn't part of the report, said the success doesn't mean the fight to save the ozone layer is over just yet.

The study, Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2018, is the latest in a series of reports, released every four years, which monitor the recovery of ozone in the stratosphere.

However, the report did note there is evidence of an increase in CFC-11 - an ozone depleting chemical - from eastern Asia since 2012.

This healing progress is attributed to worldwide initiatives under the Montreal Protocol, a global agreement that was formed more than 30 years ago in response to climate change concerns.

And the replacements now being used to cool cars and refrigerators need to be replaced themselves with chemicals that don't worsen global warming, Newman said.

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

Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, said: "Over the last three decades, the Montreal protocol has fulfilled its original objective to heal the ozone layer".

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