Saturday, September 13, 2014

Earth’s ozone layer is finally starting to show signs of recovery

Earth’s ozone layer is finally starting to show signs of recovery

For once there seems to actually be good news about the environment. According to a new report that was released by United Nations scientists on Wednesday, the Aarth’s protective ozone layer, which has been growing thinner since the late 1970’s, has finally started to show signs of recovery.

The last few decades have been quite dismal for the Aarth’s ozone layer, which protects us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, but a comprehensive new assessment suggests that it’s now on the road to recovery. Around 300 scientists from 36 different countries contributed to the detailed report.

“It’s a victory for diplomacy and for science and for the fact that we were able to work together,” said chemist Mario Molina, who won a Nobel Prize for his research into the ozone layer.

It was in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s that the ozone layer really began to decline, and it was in 1985 that scientists spotted a massive hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica, which is what prompted governments across the globe to begin taking action to prevent further decline in the ozone layer.

Gases such as such as CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and halons, which were commonly used in products such as refrigerators and aerosols, were known to accelerate the depletion of ozone in the Earth’s stratosphere, so scientists and politicians across the globe joined forces to try and reduce the use of these ozone-depleting substances.

After decades of combined efforts from governments and other organizations across the globe, the ozone layer is finally starting to show signs of recovery. Without this combined international effort to stem the use of ozone-depleting substances, the atmospheric levels of those harmful gases could have increased tenfold by the year 2050.

“International action on the ozone layer is a major environmental success story,” WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said in a news release. “This should encourage us to display the same level of urgency and unity to tackle the even greater challenge of climate change.”

Read more about the story at Vox.

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