Great News! Ozone layer will repair itself by 2075
Ozone Depletion has been one of the major environmental concerns for scientists, environmental experts and governments all around the world. Survival on earth is possible because of the presence of this protective shield our earth has, as the ozone layer protects us from the harmful Ultraviolet rays coming from the sun. But the great news is that it will repair itself by 2075, and our earth will again by fully protected from the harmful UV rays.
1 A great environmental news!
The United Nations Scientists gave world the great news that the giant hole in the ozone layer has been shrinking and by 2075, the ozone layer will be completely repaired. The scientists credit this improvement to the phasing out of the chemicals used in air conditioners, refrigerators and aerosol cans used in the 1980s. Scientists revealed that the hole in the ozone layer was significantly smaller in 2009 than it was in 2008. Mario Molina, who has been awarded with a Nobel Prize for his works into the study if ozone layer said that this achievement is actually a victory for the diplomacy and science and also for the fact the world could work together in such a manner.
2 Causes and repercussions of ozone depletion
The reasons for ozone depletion were the presence of Halons, CFCs (Cholorofluoro carbons), and Freons. The major culprit were CFCs, which were found in aerosol cans and released from several electronic devices. All these damaged the ozone layer, which was very dangerous, as the Ultraviolet rays of the sun reached earth, having adverse effects on the life on earth. Over exposure to UV rays can lead to skin cancer and various life-treating diseases. Marine life also gets disturbed and various plant species also get damaged. The rays are also harmful for the eyes.
3 A brief historical background to the current achievement
During the 1970s, researchers first revealed that CFCs (Cholorofluoro carbons) are responsible for depletion of the ozone layer. According to them, the CFCs had worn the ozone layer thin above Antarctica. It was believed that if some major steps were not taken , then ozone destruction could destabilize the aquatic food chain, cause higher rates of skin cancer and might even disrupt plant growth. In order to protect the earth’s ozone layer, the world’s policymakers agreed to sign the Montreal Protocol in 1987, which lead to the phasing out of CFCs.
4 How did Montreal Protocol bring about this achievement?
The Montreal Protocol, signed in 1987, was an international treaty, which was designed to protect the ozone layer from getting depleted by phasing out the production of substances which were responsible for ozone depletion. This was a much needed step, which was initially resisted by the industries, but nevertheless, governments did make a history by signing the Montreal Protocol. After the chemical companies found safer alternatives to CFCs, they agreed to phase it out and the result is now visible, 30 years after the signing of the treaty.
5 Efforts by the United Nations
A team of about 300 scientists has been working on this subject for many years and they submit reports every four years to the United Nations.
According to the latest U.N report, the ozone layer will return to a healthy condition in the mid-laltitudes till 2050. However, around the Antarctic it will recover by 2075. The hole near Antarctica was biggest in 2006, measuring at about 30 million square kilometres and it now stands at 20 millions square kilometres. The hole is still big enough to pass the moon through it, joked Reuters. Nonetheless, the fact, that the size is decreasing gives reasons to the world leaders to take similar steps as were taken after the Montreal Protocol
6 Some other climatic concerns
The report definitely gives reasons to rejoice, but some bad news also crept in. One of the chemicals, carbon tetrachloride, which was not supposed to be found, was actually found to be present in the atmosphere in large amounts. This actually means that it has been in use illegally. Another concern is that the chemicals which replaced the CFCs, are contributing to global warming, said scientist Susan Solomon of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Paradoxically, the greenhouse gases which are contributing to global warming are actually helping in rebuilding the ozone layer. But, hopes should not be lost because if the diplomacy can be successful in repairing the ozone layer , the collective efforts of the people and governments can result in other achievments also. The executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, Achim Steiner said that the success of the Montreal Protocol should encourage action by leaders not only on the protection of the ozone layer but also on various climatic issues.