Ozone Layer Could Be Completely Healed By The 2060s

The ozone layer of the atmosphere will be repaired by 2020

The ozone layer of the atmosphere will be repaired by 2020

Experts credit a 1987 treaty that banned ozone-depleting chemicals, as well as new technology, for the global environmental success story.

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

"We're raising a flag to the global community to say, 'This is what's going on, and it is taking us away from timely recovery of the ozone layer, '" NOAA scientist Stephen Montzka, the study's lead author, said in a statement at the time.

The Protocol was in response to the revelation that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting substances - used in aerosols, cooling and refrigeration systems, and many other items - were tearing a hole in the ozone layer and allowing risky ultraviolet radiation to flood through.

The ozone layer is healing itself and the massive gaping ozone hole caused by pollution is beginning to shrink, according to a new United Nations (UN) report.

This year, the ozone hole over the South Pole peaked at almost 9.6 million square miles (24.8 million square kilometers).

The four-yearly review of the Montreal Protocol, a global agreement which was implemented to protect the stratospheric ozone layer by phasing out the production and consumption of ozone-depleting substances, found long-term decreases in the atmospheric abundance of controlled ozone-depleting substances and the ongoing recovery of stratospheric ozone.

But the United Nations has today said it is finally healing, with the Northern Hemisphere's upper ozone layer expected to be repaired in the 2030s.

What is the ozone layer?

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"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". From 1 January 2019 will come into force the amendment of the Protocol limiting the production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), ozone safe compounds that were potent greenhouse gases. Writers of the report said if this amendment is ratified, Earth can avoid up to 0.4 percent of global warming in the 21st century. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center's chief earth scientist and co-head of the report said, "This is really good news". Scientists informed about this danger and the chemicals which weaken the ozone were gradually stopped being used in the whole world.

The assessment is being hailed as a demonstration of what global agreements can achieve, and an inspiration for more ambitious climate action to halt a potential catastrophic rise in world temperatures.

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