Tags: ozone | layer | signs | recovery

Ozone Layer: Signs of Recovery Seen, Report Says

By    |   Thursday, 11 September 2014 03:53 PM

Earth's ozone layer is showing signs of recovery, according to a new report released this week.

The report, produced by the World Meteorological Organization, or WMO, and the U.N. Environment Programme, or UNEP, and presented to the U.N. on Wednesday attributes the ozone recovery to a ban on man-made gases in 1987, known as the Montreal Protocol.

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"International action on the ozone layer is a major environmental success story,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud, according to Reuters. “This should encourage us to display the same level of urgency and unity to tackle the even greater challenge of tackling climate change.”

The UNEP said the banned use of chlorofluorocarbons, or CFC’s, that were once found in spray cans and used in refrigerators is expected to prevent 2 million cases of skin cancer each year by 2030.

The report also indicated that the hole that is currently over Antarctica hasn’t gotten any bigger, but actual shrinkage isn’t expected for another 10 years or so.

"The development you saw during the 1990s that the ozone hole got bigger from year to year — that development has stopped, so it has leveled off," said Geir Braathen, WMO senior scientific officer, Reuters reported. “We think in about 2025 or thereabouts we'll be able to say with certainty that the ozone hole is getting smaller.”

The ozone layer over Antarctica gets "dangerously thin" from August until near the end of the calendar year.

While the chemicals that had reduced the ozone layer were banned, the rise in certain greenhouse gases — pointed to as the cause of global warming — may have "the potential to undermine the gains" from the Montreal Protocol, the report says.

The ozone is found in two layers of the earth’s atmosphere.

“Most ozone (about 90%) resides in a layer that begins between 6 and 10 miles (10 and 17 kilometers) above the Earth's surface and extends up to about 30 miles (50 kilometers),” according to the NOAA. “This region of the atmosphere is called the stratosphere. The ozone in this region is commonly known as the ozone layer. The remaining ozone is in the lower region of the atmosphere, which is commonly called the troposphere.”

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Earth's ozone layer is showing signs of recovery, according to a new report released this week.
ozone, layer, signs, recovery
Thursday, 11 September 2014 03:53 PM
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