Science

Earth's Ozone Layer is Healing, UN-Backed Report Says

Earth's Ozone Layer is Healing, UN-Backed Report Says

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

The report finds that the concentration of ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere continues to decrease, leading to an improvement in the ozone layer since the previous assessment carried out in 2014.

"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. It prevents damage to the earth's ecosystems and provides protection against skin cancer.

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.

And the good news includes the huge hole above Antarctica, which is expected to completely vanish by the 2060s.




At the recovery rates projected by the United Nations report, the northern hemisphere and mid-latitude ozone is scheduled to heal completely by the 2030s, followed by the southern hemisphere in the 2050s and polar regions by 2060. And the Montreal Protocol is set to be enhanced in early 2019 with the ratification of the Kigali Amendment, which seeks to curb future climate change by targeting powerful greenhouse gases used in refrigeration and air conditioning.

"The Antarctic ozone hole is recovering, while continuing to occur every year".

"The Montreal Protocol is one of the most successful multilateral agreements in history for a reason", Erik Solheim, the head of UN Environment", said in the press release.

Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, said: "Over the last three decades, the Montreal protocol has fulfilled its original objective to heal the ozone layer". India is also bound by the Protocol and its amendment, but the country gets more time to get rid of such gases as compared to the window available to developed countries and China.

The writers of the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2018 found that, if the Kigali Amendment is fully implemented, the world can avoid up to 0.4 percent of global warming this century. The findings come at a time when the world is still grappling with a sobering message from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that just 12 years remain to limit global warming to 1.5 degree C. The IPCC says beyond 1.5 degree C, the impact of a further rise in global temperatures will begin to have an increasingly extreme impact on humans and ecosystems.