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Good News: Earth’s ozone layer could recover within decades

BY Alice Gawthrop

12th Jan 2023 Good News

Good News: Earth’s ozone layer could recover within decades

A UN report has revealed that the ozone layer is on track to fully recover in the next few decades after the implementation of the Montreal Protocol in 1987

A report by the UN has found that the Earth’s ozone layer is healing and is on track to recovery by 2066. 

The hole in the ozone layer

The ozone layer plays a vital role in protecting Earth from radiation from the sun. Ozone traps ultraviolet radiation, acting as a shield. But in 1985, scientists discovered a hole in the ozone layer.

"The ozone layer plays a vital role in protecting Earth from radiation from the sun"

The hole was created by human activities such as the use of gases like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in spray cans and refrigerants. 

The path to recovery 

As a response to the hole in the ozone layer, the Montreal Protocol was implemented in September 1987. This is a multilateral environmental agreement to regulate the production and consumption of almost 100 man-made chemicals that can damage the ozone layer.

Now, a UN report has found that nearly 99 per cent of ozone-depleting substances have been phased out. This has led to a recovery in the ozone layer and decreased human exposure to ultraviolet radiation. 

According to the report, the ozone layer is on track to recover to 1980 values by 2040. This may take a little longer in specific areas. For example, the same level of recovery is expected by 2066 in the Antarctic

"Nearly 99 per cent of ozone-depleting substances have been phased out"

The report also warns against increasing sunlight reflection to reduce global warming, saying that this “could also affect stratospheric temperatures, circulation and ozone production and destruction rates and transport.”

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