Ozone layer hole will 'totally heal within 50 years'

Cesar Mills
November 9, 2018

The ozone layer's recuperation has been credited to the 1987 Montreal Protocol, which mandated that countries phase out chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting chemicals.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, the study shows that the concentration of ozone-depleting substances continues to decrease, leading to an improvement in the layer since the previous assessment carried out in 2014.

"If ozone-depleting substances had continued to increase, we would have seen huge effects".

The ozone layer is a layer of the atmosphere which sits about 10 kilometres above the Earth's surface and protects life from ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. It's unclear, however, how much more warming can be expected once the Antarctic ozone hole heals.

The Antarctic ozone hole will take the longest to close, returning to its 1980 level in the 2060s.

But the United Nations has today said it is finally healing, with the Northern Hemisphere's upper ozone layer expected to be repaired in the 2030s.

The ozone layer is showing signs of continuing recovery from man-made damage and is likely to heal fully by 2060, new evidence shows.

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What is the ozone layer?

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

"The careful mix of authoritative science and collaborative action that has defined the Protocol for more than 30 years and was set to heal our ozone layer is precisely why the Kigali Amendment holds such promise for climate action in future", he said.

The Kigali amendment to the Montreal protocol, coming into effect at the start of next year, will help reduce future climate change, by targeting HFC gases, mostly used in refrigeration, which have a warming effect tens of thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide.

If the Kigali Amendment is ratified in 2019, the revisions will add specific targets and timelines to find environmentally-friendly alternatives to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), restrict countries that have ratified the agreement from doing business in controlled substances with those that have not, and encourage richer countries to provide financial aid to poor countries transitioning to greener products.

"It's really good news", said report co-chairman Paul Newman, chief Earth scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. 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.

Other reports by GizPress

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