January 11, 2023: The Earth’s protective ozone layer is on the way to recovering within four decades, which closes an ozone hole first noticed in the 1980s, a United Nations-backed panel of experts announced Monday.
The scientific assessment findings, published every four years after the landmark Montreal Protocol in 1987, ban the chemical production and consumption that eat away at the ozone layer of the Planet.
The ozone layer in the upper atmosphere takes care of the Earth from the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, linking to skin cancer, eye cataracts, compromised immune systems and agricultural land damage.
Scientists stated that the recovery is gradual and will take different years. If the present policies remain in place, the ozone layer is anticipated to recover to 1980 levels before the appearance of the ozone hole by 2040; the report said and return to normal in the Arctic by 2045. Additionally, Antarctica experiencing normal levels by 2066.
Scientists and environmental groups are lauding the global ban on ozone-depleting chemicals as one of the most critical ecological achievements. It could set a precedent for the regulation of climate-warming emissions.
“Ozone action setting a precedent for climate action,” World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Petteri Taalas added in a statement. “Our success phasing out ozone-eating chemicals shows us what can and must be done as a matter of urgency to transition away from fossil fuels, decreasing greenhouse gases and limit temperature increase.”
Scientists stated that global emissions of the banned chemical chlorofluorocarbon-11, or CFC-11, used as a refrigerant and insulating foams, have declined since 2018 after increasing unexpectedly for several years. The report said that a large portion of the spontaneous CFC-11 emissions originated from eastern China.
The report found that the ozone-depleting chemical chlorine refused 11.5% in the stratosphere from 1993, while bromine coming down 14.5% since 1999.
Scientists warning that efforts to cool the Earth by injecting aerosols into the upper atmosphere reflecting sunlight could thin the ozone coating and cautioned that further research into new technologies like geoengineering is required.
Researchers with the Meteorological Organization of the World, the United Nations Environment organization, the National Oceanic and Administration of atmosphere, the National Aeronautics and Space government and the European Commission donated to the assessment.