The Earth’s ozone layer should recover within 40 years, UN experts say

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The earth’s ozone layer is expected to recover within the next 40 years as ozone-depleting chemicals are phased out, says a panel of international experts supported by the UN. The panel, which releases a new report on the ozone layer every four years, credits the phasing out of almost 99% of ozone-depleting chemicals for the improvement.

ozone hole
In this false-color image from NASA, blue and purple show the hole in Earth’s protective ozone layer over Antarctica on October 5, 2022. It has generally shrunk but grew to a moderately large size this year due to weather conditions.


The agency said the Montreal Protocol, a landmark global agreement to phase out harmful chemicals, has been instrumental in restoring the ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol took effect in 1989 and regulates nearly 100 man-made chemicals that deplete the ozone layer.

“The impact of the Montreal Protocol on climate change cannot be overstated,” said Meg Seki, executive secretary of the UN Environment Program’s ozone secretariat. “Over the past 35 years, the protocol has evolved into a true champion for the environment.”

The United Nations also found that an amendment to the 2016 measure, the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, helps significantly reduce climate change. The change requires global authorities to reduce the production and consumption of many hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. Although these types of chemicals do not directly affect the ozone layer, they are considered potent greenhouse gases.

“Ozone action sets a precedent for climate action. Our success in phasing out ozone-depleting chemicals shows us what urgent can and must be done to move away from fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gases, thereby limiting temperature rise. said the Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, Prof. Petteri Taalas.

Research by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, released in 2022, found that global concentrations of ozone-depleting chemicals had fallen by a little over 50% in the mid-latitude stratosphere to values ​​observed in 1980. NOAA scientists said the continued decline “shows the threat to the ozone layer is declining below a significant milestone in 2022.” The Earth’s ozone layer should recover within 40 years, UN experts say

Rick Schindler

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