How is Earth’s ozone layer increasingly repairing itself? What does the Montreal Protocol have to say?
Mother Earth has always borne the brunt of man’s deeds. With Earth’s suffering being manifested in natural calamities and global warming, the condition of the planet is indeed alarming for all countries. The need of the hour is to abate the increasing havoc. While lately, environmentalists have rarely talked about any good news related to environmental improvement, a piece of fresh news has managed to give a sigh of relief to many.
A recent United Nations report states that environmental disasters can be prevented with the collaborative effort of all. Additionally, the United Nations conducted an executive assessment, which concluded that the hole in the ozone layer of the planet is soon going to be entirely healed in the coming 20 years.
This can be possible if the present policies work the same way. If this becomes the case, the ozone layer ought to heal to 1980 levels by approximately 2045 in the Arctic, 2066 in the Antarctic, and around 2040 in the rest of the planet.
The hole in the Ozone layer
It was the scientists in the year 1985 who originally discovered the ozone layer hole overhead Antarctica. The discovery of the hole gave rise to intense worries.
The ozone layer is responsible for shielding the planet from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. These harmful UV rays can lead to cataracts, skin cancer, and many more dangerous ailments to humans, animals, and vegetation. Marine life, too, gets adversely affected by UV rays. If these harmful rays manage to disturb the planet, the world’s food supply could see a massive disruption.
What does the UN have to say?
“In the upper stratosphere and in the ozone hole we see things getting better,” says Paul A. Newman, co-chair of Montreal Protocol’s scientific assessment panel. The man further stated that the major contributors to the creation of a hole in the ozone layer, bromine, and chlorine, have significantly dropped in the ‘90s.
As per Newman, the chlorine and bromine levels have “stopped growing and are coming down is a real testament to the effectiveness of the Montreal Protocol.”
Good climate news: The ozone layer is on track to recover within 4 decades.— United Nations (@UN) January 9, 2023
The healing of the Earth's invisible shield is an inspirational example of how the world can come together to address global challenges like the climate crisis.
More from @WMO: https://t.co/Dh0h8kkPnY pic.twitter.com/J9YdEj7kbg
Good news from #AMS2023: The ozone layer is on track to recover within four decades.— World Meteorological Organization (@WMO) January 9, 2023
Press release ➡️ https://t.co/htPbNDJ9VU
Executive summary ➡️ https://t.co/yO6o2dVOd3
Partners 🤝🏽 @UNEP, @NOAA, @NASA, @EU_Commission pic.twitter.com/03FY2TQHPo
What is the Montreal Protocol?
The Montreal Protocol is an international agreement that aided in eliminating 99% of ozone-depleting chemicals. These chemicals include chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The agreement was signed in the year 1989.
After the agreement was signed, former President Ronald Reagan expressed that, “The protocol marks an important milestone for the future quality of the global environment and the health and well-being of all peoples of the world. Unanimous approval of the protocol by the Senate on March 14th demonstrated to the world community this country's willingness to act promptly and decisively in carrying out its commitments to protect the stratospheric ozone layer from the damaging effects of chlorofluorocarbons and halons, but our action alone is not enough.”