UN says Earth's ozone layer is healing as CFC curbs take hold

James Marshall
November 9, 2018

If the restoration will go a pace further, in the Northern hemisphere and mid-latitudes, the ozone layer will fully recover to 1980 levels by 2030, and in all the Land by 2060.

A United Nations study has revealed that the ozone layer is slowly recovering, and is even expected to be fully repaired by the 2060s.

The healing signs of ozone layer was revealed on Monday by a new assessment report on Montreal Protocol (MP), the over 30-year-old global treaty which deals with reduction of ozone-depleting substances. The 9.6 million square mile hole in the ozone layer above the Antarctic should have sealed itself by 2060.

The measures taken to fix the damage will also have an important beneficial effect on climate change, as some of the gases that caused the ozone layer to thin and in places disappear also contribute to warming the atmosphere.

It is the layer that shields the Earth from cancer-causing solar rays and the report says it is recovering at a rate of one to three percent a decade.

"As a result of the Montreal Protocol much more severe ozone depletion in the polar regions has been avoided", the report said.

"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".

Their use was restricted under the 1987 Montreal Protocol.

If the Kigali Amendment is ratified in 2019, the revisions will add specific targets and timelines to find environmentally-friendly alternatives to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), restrict countries that have ratified the agreement from doing business in controlled substances with those that have not, and encourage richer countries to provide financial aid to poor countries transitioning to greener products. 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.

NASA's Paul Newman, joint chairman of the report, said that two thirds of the ozone would have been destroyed by 2065 had the measures not been implemented.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres called the IPCC report an "ear-splitting wake-up call".

Scientists at the United Nations believe the depleted ozone will make a full recovery in the northern hemisphere by 2030, and by 2060 for the southern hemisphere.

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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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