Earth’s ozone layer set to recover

Ozone Layer

According to the UN, the ozone layer is on course to fully recover within four decades thanks to global efforts to phaseout ozone-depleting chemicals. The UN’s findings say that if the current policies remain in place the recovery should be reached by 2040, this excludes the polar regions which could take two decades longer.

Chemicals, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), used as refrigerants and solvents were attributed to the damage. The Ozone Layer is part of the stratosphere, which is the second layer of Earth’s atmosphere. The stratosphere’s gases protect the planet from harmful ultraviolet rays. At the time its decline was considered an environmental crisis and public health concern. Countries acted fast and committed to phasing out CFCs by signing the Montreal protocol in 1989 which is one of the most successful global environmental agreements. 

The action taken regarding the Ozone Layer set a precedent for climate action according to Prof Petteri Taalas, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization. He believes the success of the phasing out of ozone depleting chemicals shows what can and must be done urgently, to transition away from fossil fuels, reduce greenhouse gases and so limit temperature increase.

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Author: Sylvia Jacobs

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