More protection: UN says Earths ozone layer is healing

More protection: UN says Earths ozone layer is healing

Scientific evidence of the depletion of the ozone layer over the Antarctic was first presented in 1985, and in 1987 the Montreal protocol was signed, binding world governments to reduce and phase out the harmful chemicals identified as causing the problem.

If CFC-11 emissions continued at the same rate, return of mid-latitude and polar ozone-depleting chemicals to their 1980 values would be delayed by about 7 and 20 years, respectively, the report said.

Thanks to these bans, the ozone layer has been able to recover at a small but mighty rate of three percent per decade, meaning it may be repaired by the time we reach the 2060s.

As the ozone layer began to thin, more lifeforms, including humans, were exposed to stronger solar rays which increases the likelihood of cancer.

This combination of images made available by NASA shows areas of low ozone above Antarctica on September 2000, left, and September 2018 GENEVA: The ozone layer that shields life from cancer-causing solar rays is recovering at a rate of one to three percent per decade, reversing years of unsafe depletion caused by the release of harmful chemicals, a United Nations study said on Monday.

While climate change concerns continue to mount, a new United Nations-backed report delivered a positive environmental update: Earth's ozone layer is finally healing.

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"The Antarctic ozone hole is recovering, while continuing to occur every year", the report said.

Monday's report says the Northern Hemisphere's upper ozone layer should be repaired in the 2030s and the Southern Hemisphere's by mid-century.

"The Montreal Protocol is one of the most successful multilateral agreements in history for a reason", Erik Solheim, head of UN Environment, said in a statement.

"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", he said. From 1 January 2019 will come into force the amendment of the Protocol limiting the production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), ozone safe compounds that were potent greenhouse gases. India is also bound by the Protocol and its amendment, but the country gets more time to get rid of such gases as compared to the window available to developed countries and China. Scientists informed about this danger and the chemicals which weaken the ozone were gradually stopped being used in the whole world.

Paul Newman, chief Earth scientist at Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Center, described the discovery as "really good news".

The assessment is being hailed as a demonstration of what global agreements can achieve, and an inspiration for more ambitious climate action to halt a potential catastrophic rise in world temperatures.

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