Cutting back on harmful chemicals is definitely healing the ozone layer

Benjamin Butterworth     2 hours Tuesday November 6th 2018   
 


	
		
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Scientists assessing the state of the ozone layer have shown that the Montreal Protocol - the worldwide agreement that committed to reversing the damage by phasing out ozone-depleting chemicals - is still working well.

The Assessment, which is meant to add to the scientific basis for decisions made by the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, also presents updated scenarios for hastening ozone recovery through: Complete elimination of controlled and uncontrolled emissions of substances such as carbon tetrachloride and dichloromethane, Bank recapture and destruction of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and Elimination of HCFC and methyl bromide production, as well as the Mitigation of nitrous oxide emissions. In fact, the fight over the ozone layer in the mid-to-late 1980s somewhat mirrors the current debates surrounding global warming. According to him, by the middle of 2050 we can expect nearly full recovery of the ozone layer over the territory of the southern hemisphere Land - as for the Northern hemisphere and Antarctica, the date is shifted by 2060.

Earth's protective ozone layer protects us from ultraviolet rays which cause skin cancer, crop damage and other problems.

Montzka said if the source of the new emissions could be identified and contained, the damage to the ozone should be minor.

This new United Nations report shows "we're at the turnaround point" to restore the ozone layer, NASA scientist Paul Newman told Gizmodo. The committee has seen a significant decrease in ozone-depleting substances this year, leading to a 1 to 3 percent recovery rate since the year 2000.

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At its worst in the late 1990s, about 10 percent of the upper ozone layer was depleted, said Newman. Newman added that if we hadn't made these changes, two-thirds of the ozone layer would have been destroyed by 2065.

The Antarctic ozone hole was expected to gradually close, returning to 1980 levels in the 2060s, the report said.

However, while most of the banned gases have been phased out, the report found at least one violation of the protocol: an unexpected increase in production and emissions of CFC-11 from eastern Asia since 2012. According to a new United Nations report, the hole in the ozone layer should completely heal within our lifetimes - a testament to the fact that concentrated global action really does work. Phasing them out could avoid as much as 0.5C (0.9F) of warming this century.

The replacements that are now being used to cool cars and refrigerators have to be replaced themselves with some chemicals that will not be worsening the global warming.

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