Earth's ozone layer is healing says UN

  • Earth's ozone layer is healing says UN

Earth's ozone layer is healing says UN

The measures taken to fix the damage will also have an important beneficial effect on climate change, as some of the gases that caused the ozone layer to thin and in places disappear also contribute to warming the atmosphere.

The UN had already hailed the success of the Protocol but the report said it was the first time that there were emerging indications that the Antarctic ozone hole had diminished in size and depth since 2000.

Ozone in the upper layers of the atmosphere protects the earth's surface from most of the harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun.

On Monday, the United Nations shared the findings of "Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2018", the latest study part of a series of reports that monitor ozone recovery in the stratosphere.

The report said the source country or countries had not yet been identified.

The Protocol was in response to the revelation that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-depleting substances - used in aerosols, cooling and refrigeration systems, and many other items - were tearing a hole in the ozone layer and allowing risky ultraviolet radiation to flood through.

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

In parts of the stratosphere, where most of the ozone is found, the layer has recovered at a rate of 1-3% per decade since 2000, the authors state.

'We are only at a point where recovery may have started, ' Mr Toon said.

However, while most of the banned damaging gases have been phased out, the study found at least one violation - having spotting that production and emission of CFC-11 unexpected increased in eastern Asia since 2012.

On its own, the ozone hole has slightly shielded Antarctica from the much larger effects of global warming - it has heated up but not as much as it likely would without ozone depletion, said Ross Salawitch, a University of Maryland atmospheric scientist who co-authored the report. "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".

Scientists don't know how much a healed ozone hole will further warm Antarctica, but they do know the immediate effects of ozone depletion on the world and human health, so "it would be incredibly irresponsible not to do this", Salawitch said.

In 2019, the Montreal Protocol's strength will continue with the signing of the Kigali Amendment, an agreement that will ban the future use of climate-warming gases in air conditioners, refrigerators, and other consumer products.

Mr Newman added: "I don't think we can do a victory lap until 2060, ' he said". "That will be for our grandchildren to do".