Ozone ‘Hole’ – The Gravest Danger Recover Is On Decades

In 1985 Jonathan Shankin was a junior researcher at BAS when he discovered a hole in the invisible shield that protects us from solar radiation which absorbs harmful UV rays from the sun. It’s 38 years since scientists first discovered the hole in the ozone layer.  

What is an Ozone hole?

It refers to the depletion of the Ozone layer in the Stratosphere. This leads to an increase in the temperature as the solar radiation reaches the surface of the earth unhindered and unfiltered. This Ozone hole was once considered the gravest danger for planetary life on earth. This recovery is on track, due to the success of the Montreal Protocol.

What is Montreal protocol?

The Montreal Protocol was finalized in 1987. It is a global agreement to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances. Ultraviolet rays can damage DNA and cause sunburn, increasing the long-term risk of a problem for skin cancer.

Mainly, Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which are commonly found in objects which we use for our daily kinds of stuff like fridges, foam insulation, and air conditioners, were blamed for damaging the ozone layer.

So, this international agreement in 1987 was made to stop using harmful chemicals that damage the ozone layers. Though Human action hopefully worked and it may recover in just decades, the UN reports.

Ozone Recovery

According to the Panel’s report, if current policies remain in place then the layer may be expected to recover by decades. Over the Antarctic, this recovery is expected by around 2066. It is because of variations in the size of the Antarctic Ozone hole, particularly between the years 2019 and 2021. It is driven largely by meteorological conditions, UN reports.

Ozone recovery is on track according to the latest report is fantastic news. Over 38 years of maintaining protocol have become a true champion for the environment. Many Scientists and professors tweeted about Ozone layer depletion.

Mentioning “Let’s talk about the most successful global scale cooperation in history: Montreal Protocol”

Derek Thompson (The staff writer at The Atlantica) also tweeted regarding ozone depletion, “What happened is scientists discovered chlorofluorocarbons were bad for the ozone, countries believed them, the Montreal Protocol was signed and CFC use fell by 99.7%, leading to the stabilization of the ozone layer, perhaps the greatest example of global co-operation in history”.

Impacts on Climate Change

Ozone depletion and climate change are linked in several ways, but ozone depletion is not a major cause of climate change. Research says HFCs do not directly deplete ozone, but powerful climate change gasses do.   

The Montreal Protocol already benefited efforts to mitigate climate change, helping avoid global warming by an estimated 0.5 degrees Celsius.

The panel said that it’s estimated the amendment will avoid 0.3-0.5 degrees Celsius of warming by 2100.

While the report has been upcoming with a positive side – and evidence that rapid international action to avert environmental crisis can work – it warns that continued progress on the ozone layer is not guaranteed.

For example, the proposal to limit global warming by sending millions of tonnes of Sulphur dioxide into the upper atmosphere – known as stratospheric aerosol injection – could drastically reverse the ozone layer’s recovery. 

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