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Earth’s Ozone Layer Is Healing: UN

Another problem is that new technology has found an increase in emissions of a banned CFC out of East Asia, the report noted.

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Ozone layer
This combination of images made available by NASA shows areas of low ozone above Antarctica on Sept. 2000, left, and Sept. 2018. A United Nations report released on Nov. 5, 2018 says Earth’s protective ozone layer is finally healing after aerosol sprays and coolants ate away at it. VOA

Earth’s protective ozone layer is finally healing from damage caused by aerosol sprays and coolants, a new United Nations report said.

The ozone layer had been thinning since the late 1970s. Scientist raised the alarm and ozone-depleting chemicals were phased out worldwide.

As a result, the upper ozone layer above the Northern Hemisphere should be completely repaired in the 2030s and the gaping Antarctic ozone hole should disappear in the 2060s, according to a scientific assessment released Monday at a conference in Quito, Ecuador. The Southern Hemisphere lags a bit and its ozone layer should be healed by mid-century.

“It’s really good news,” said report co-chairman Paul Newman, chief Earth scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “If ozone-depleting substances had continued to increase, we would have seen huge effects. We stopped that.”

ozone layer
Emissions of a banned chemical most responsible for the giant Antarctic ozone hole are on the rise, according to a study which suggests that an international treaty that required an end to its production in 2010 is being violated. Pixabay

High in the atmosphere, ozone shields Earth from ultraviolet rays that cause skin cancer, crop damage and other problems. Use of man-made chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which release chlorine and bromine, began eating away at the ozone. In 1987, countries around the world agreed in the Montreal Protocol to phase out CFCs and businesses came up with replacements for spray cans and other uses.

At its worst in the late 1990s, about 10 percent of the upper ozone layer was depleted, said Newman. Since 2000, it has increased by about 1 to 3 percent per decade, the report said.

This year, the ozone hole over the South Pole peaked at nearly 9.6 million square miles (24.8 million square kilometers). That’s about 16 percent smaller than the biggest hole recorded – 11.4 million square miles (29.6 million square kilometers) in 2006.

The hole reaches its peak in September and October and disappears by late December until the next Southern Hemisphere spring, Newman said.

ozone layer
Chemical Emission is the main reason of the hole in Ozone layer above Antarctica. Pixabay

The ozone layer starts at about 6 miles (10 kilometers) above Earth and stretches for nearly 25 miles (40 kilometers); ozone is a colorless combination of three oxygen atoms.

If nothing had been done to stop the thinning, the world would have destroyed two-thirds of its ozone layer by 2065, Newman said.

But it’s not a complete success yet, said University of Colorado’s Brian Toon, who wasn’t part of the report.

“We are only at a point where recovery may have started,” Toon said, pointing to some ozone measurements that haven’t increased yet.

CO2, Antarctica, ozone layer
Carbon atoms move between rocks, rivers, plants, oceans and other sources in a planet-scale life cycle. Flickr

Another problem is that new technology has found an increase in emissions of a banned CFC out of East Asia, the report noted.

Also Read: No Definition Of Green-Firecrackers, Probably Too Late To Put A Check: Environmentalists

And the replacements now being used to cool cars and refrigerators need to be replaced themselves with chemicals that don’t worsen global warming, Newman said. An amendment to the Montreal Protocol that goes into effect next year would cut use of some of those gases.

“I don’t think we can do a victory lap until 2060,” Newman said. “That will be for our grandchildren to do.” (VOA)

Next Story

Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui Lends Support To an Environment-Saving Initiative

On the work front, the actor is gearing up for the release of his forthcoming film "Thackeray"

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Actor Nawazuddin Siddhiqui, Wikimedia

Actor Nawazuddin Siddiqui has lent support to an initiative aimed at increasing greenery in Mumbai.

In association with Radio City’s campaign “Hara Hai Toh Bara Ahe”, the “Manto” actor has urged people to plant more trees to curb various environmental problems.

“Mumbai is facing several environmental problems that are on the rise and the receding green cover is one of the key aspects amplifying this issue.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui Buys A Plot To Farm. Flickr
Nawazuddin lends support to environmental programme. Flickr

“Promoting tree plantations in our own vicinity is a basic but vital step towards preservation of the environment which in turn will positively impact the health and safety of citizens,” Nawazuddin said in a statement.

Also Read- Special Weather Services For The Holy Kumbh Mela Launched

He said the initiative “is a great step towards raising awareness which will highlight the significance of planting trees and drive every individual to take a step in the direction of developing a green, pollution free city.”

On the work front, the actor is gearing up for the release of his forthcoming film “Thackeray”. (IANS)